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WHY GILES CLARKE MUST GO; TEST SWITCH FOR ENGLAND Cricket chief behind the Stanford fiasco has to do the decent thing.

Byline: BY MIKE WALTERS

RESIGNATION was once a matter of honour in the officers' mess.

When the pips and stripes brought shame upon the regiment, going to the loaded revolver in the drawer was regarded as doing the decent thing.

But at Lord's, standards have fallen so far that when the blazers in charge of English cricket mount a cavalry charge, they send in the rocking horses.

And after 'Sir' Allen Stanford was charged with a pounds 8billion fraud, the time has arrived for court martials at the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Giles Clarke, the deeply unimpressive ECB chairman, must go. And he can take his charisma-free chief executive David Collier with him.

English cricket was already a laughing stock after their handling of Kevin Pietersen's stand-off with Peter Moores.

Only a brains trust as cerebrally bankrupt as the ECB could come up with the laughable solution of sacking both the England captain and the coach when they couldn't get on.

But when they are so eager to get into bed with a philanthropist, who may now prove to be a shyster, the joke has gone too far and heads must roll.

Collier, who has all the dynamism of a station platform announcer, insists he will not quit because the decision to embrace Stanford was taken by the ECB board. In that case, the board is hopeless too.

Any sporting body which re-elects Clarke unopposed must have more screws loose than a DIY flat-pack.

When a white knight veers on to the radar offering EUR1million a head just to win a Twenty20 game, it is usually too good to be true - and, as England have now found out, it was.

ECB's association with Stanford will for ever be tainted by images of him flying into Lord's with EUR20m in dollar bills and of the Texan bouncing Matt Prior's wife on his knee like Santa in his grotto (with the accent on grot).

Meanwhile, England managing director Hugh Morris somehow keeps a straight face on tour with the captain he helped to manoeuvre from office.

And selector Geoff Miller is still in charge of a panel who came up with an Aussie roof tiler from Grimsby as England's secret weapon last summer.

Clarke, Collier, Morris and Miller have been branded the four horsemen of the apocalypse engulfing English cricket.

The four riders must be consulting their lawyers for defamation of character.

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FATAL ATTRACTION Giles Clarke with Sir Allen Stanford
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2009
Words:411
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