Havana out of the competition in the Stanford 20/20 – Thanks to US diplomacy, re: Latin-Caribbean State

The Stanford 20/20 Board of Directors just announced Cuba won’t be playing in the 2008 Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament.

Due to the United States embargo against Cuba, organisations and American citizens such as Sir Allen Stanford have to make application to, and receive special permission from the US Government to conduct any type of activity with that Caribbean nation. Stanford?s application was denied.

The news comes as a huge disappointment not only to the Cuba team who has been training intensely for what was to be their first official Tournament outside Cuba but also to the legends, cricket fans and Sir Allen who were looking forward to seeing what the heavily baseball-influenced nation could do with a cricket bat.

?We have been anxious to include the entire Caribbean in the Stanford 20/20 Cricket Tournament and I am extremely disappointed that Cuba will not be able to play,? said Sir Allen. ?Stanford 20/20 is requesting that the denial from the United States Government be reconsidered and we are exploring every option to secure their future participation.?

Cuba was scheduled to play in the first match against St. Maarten on Friday, 25 January. As a result of the team being unable to participate, St. Maarten will automatically advance to the second round to play St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday, 1 February. The Opening Ceremony has been rescheduled for Saturday, 26 January immediately followed by match two featuring St. Lucia versus the Cayman Islands.

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