The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Tuesday they, together with West Indies cricket chiefs, had suspended talks with Allen Stanford after the Texas businessman was accused of a fraud worth more than nine billion dollars by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
An ECB statement said: "Following allegations made today (Tuesday) by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and their decision to apply for a temporary restraining order which was filed in a Dallas/Fort Worth court, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have suspended negotiations with Allen Stanford and his financial corporation concerning a new sponsorship deal."
The SEC charged Stanford and three of his companies with "orchestrating a fraudulent, multi-billion dollar investment scheme centering on an eight billion CD (certificate of deposit) program," a statement from the commission said.
The SEC also made allegations regarding the use of "materially false data" relating to 1.2 billion dollars in mutual fund sales by one of Stanford's companies.
Antigua-based Stanford was the man behind the Stanford Super Series Twenty20 competition which culminated with his team of hand-picked Caribbean Superstars defeating England in a Twenty20 match at his own ground on the island which netted the winning side a million dollars each.
In all Stanford put up 20 million dollars in prize money for a match which was given added spice by the knowledge the players on the losing side would walk away with nothing.
But his high-profile presence at the Antigua match caused unease and he was forced to apologise after being pictured with the wife of England wicket-keeper Matt Prior sitting on his knee.
In December, Britain's Daily Mail newspaper said Stanford, who had previously poured millions into Caribbean cricket, was withdrawing from cricket after losing 40 million dollars on the match and associated Super Series.
Stanford's spokeswoman subsequently confirmed he had axed his ambassadorial board of legends for the Super Series, including former West Indies captain and world cricket great Vivian Richards, and said he was considering his options when it came to his future involvement in the sport.
Stanford was expected to fund the Super Series competition for a further four years.
He is also due to bankroll the England Premier League Twenty20 tournament from its inaugural season in 2009 as well as set up an annual four-team event at London's Lord's Cricket Ground.
But it is the cash-strapped WICB who could suffer the biggest blow if Stanford withdraws from cricket.
According to the WICB website, Stanford had promised to invest 100 million dollars from 2008 through 2011, 20 percent of it directly to grass roots schemes, plus an additional monthly backing of 15,000 dollars to each of the 20 Caribbean nations in the Twenty20 set-up.
ECB chairman Giles Clarke was much criticised for appearing to 'fawn' over Stanford when the Texan landed at Lord's in June in his own private helicopter with a box full of millions of dollars.
The former Somerset chairman was widely credited with being the driving force behind the Stanford deal from the ECB side.
But he told Sky Sports in Antigua on Tuesday, where he was watching the ongoing third Test between the West Indies and England: "We, as a board, took a unanimous decision to move forward on this. It's not a personal thing at all.
"Those decisions were made, the first match was played and all bills were paid for that first game. That's been completed and we passed the money down to the counties. That's where we are."
Asked about the fresh flak now likely to come his way, Clarke replied: "I am sure there will be. That's part and parcel of cricket administraton."
He stressed the ECB always regarded Stanford monies as additional income, pointing to England's crowded home programme later this year which includes the World Twenty20 and an Ashes series against Australia.
"We've got a very crowded calendar this (English) summer. We'll carry on with that.
"This (the Stanford Super Series) was always a tournament which wasn't in our budgets. It doesn't impact on our budgetary structure and we know the game of cricket will continue.
"After all we've successfully moved this Test match (an unsafe outfield at the Vivian Richards Ground in Antigua saw the second Test abandoned and a new match, now the third Test, start at the island's older Recreation Ground).
"It's going pretty well," Clarke said. "Hopefully we'll win it and we'll take it from there."