BBC BLOGS - Mihir Bose

Archives for February 2009

Grassroots suffer from Stanford demise

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Mihir Bose | 16:03 UK time, Friday, 27 February 2009

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I have just learned something very interesting about Chance to Shine - the Cricket Foundation's drive to regenerate competitive cricket in state schools - Sir Allen Stanford and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

In June 2008, when the ECB did the deal with Stanford on the $1m-a-man match it was announced that Chance to Shine would benefit from it.

This was widely welcomed given the initiative's worthy objective of bringing cricket to two million children in a third of state schools by 2015.

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RBS reduces sporting sponsorship

Mihir Bose | 17:15 UK time, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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The impact of RBS' decision to cut its sponsorship of sport by half by next year should not be underestimated.

In the last decade RBS has used sport to reach areas of the world it had never reached before, and project itself as much more a world bank than the parochial British bank it was perceived to be.

The bank's investment in sport has been perhaps the most significant example of how the financial services have bankrolled sport in recent years. And it is easy to see how this business philosophy would have found Formula One so attractive.

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ECB was given Stanford warning

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Mihir Bose | 09:55 UK time, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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I have learnt that three weeks ago the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was warned that there was trouble brewing with Sir Allen Stanford. The ECB's response was to ask its auditors, Deloitte, to do further due diligence.

The ECB has so far refused to comment on the extra diligence that was performed, but its decision to suspend relations with Stanford as soon as US authorities announced they were investigating the Texan businessman for fraud suggests it knew something.

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Stanford inquests begin

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Mihir Bose | 17:36 UK time, Friday, 20 February 2009

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The Stanford saga has provoked a lot of debate this week, not least on my previous blog, so let me try to address some of the comments and questions.

First, let me say that when I interviewed Sir Allen back in November, I did indeed make the point about his charm and ability, like the best politicians, to really focus his energies on you.

But let's also be clear, that wasn't me endorsing him as a business partner for the ECB or all his activities, it was just me reporting how he came across face-to-face.

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ECB hit for six by Stanford

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Mihir Bose | 14:46 UK time, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

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The main charge against the England and Wales Cricket Board on the issue of Sir Allen Stanford is not so much the question of whether it could have carried out better financial diligence - I shall return to the issue - but that it ever agreed to let the England team play in a match organised by a private individual.

It is important to note that many other cricket boards, and in particular the Indian Board, would never have considered that.

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Money talks in Super Bowl

Mihir Bose | 11:22 UK time, Monday, 2 February 2009

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Modern sports are a marriage between athletic activity and mammon.

The romantics among us like to believe that whatever the money men say, sporting endeavour honed on honest hard work and laced with brilliance, plus a bit of luck, will always triumph.

But no modern sports would be possible without sponsors, broadcasters and advertisers putting in pots of money.

The Super Bowl, the sporting party that brings America together, from the White House to living rooms up and down the land, is the ultimate expression of this.

Yes, the match itself was superb and America will long debate whether it was the greatest ever Super Bowl.

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