The man who hit cricket for six
When Allen Stanford unveiled his 20 million dollar winner takes all Twenty20 match between his Caribbean Superstars and England, many in the cricket world were stunned and appalled.
But the allegations levelled by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday that Stanford and his companies were involved in "a fraud of shocking magnitude" worth more than nine billion dollars threaten to have consequences far beyond the confines of the sport.
The SEC charged Stanford and his companies with "orchestrating a fraudulent" investment scheme centering on an eight billion savings deposit plan as well as a 1.2 billion dollar mutual fund program.
Stanford, a Texan-born businessman and longtime resident of Antigua, came to cricket prominence when he announced he was putting 28 million dollars into funding a Caribbean wide Twenty20 tournament in 2005.
It was the kind of cash injection the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) could only dream about.
The story goes that when Stanford stepped off a plane in Antigua and saw airport workers playing cricket in a nearby pasture during a break, he vowed to build them a cricket ground and made good on that word with one just across from the airport.
It might have seemed egotistical to name the new venue the Stanford Cricket Ground but this was, after all, a man who had expanded a company founded by his grandfather in 1932 into a global operation.
However, he didn't stop there. He offered South Africa and India, cricket's economic powerhouse, a winner-takes-all match, before England finally took him up on the idea in 2008.
Yet from the moment Stanford arrived at London's Lord's Cricket Ground, with a box full of millions of dollars and proclaiming his Twenty20 "Super Series" could crack a US television market resistant to the sport's charm, there was a sense of unease about the project.