English cricket chiefs have been told to return millions of dollars they received from controversial businessman Allen Stanford or face legal action.

Texan financier Stanford, whose business empire has collapsed, has been charged with running a seven billion dollar ‘Ponzi’ fraud by US authorities.

According to lawyers working for Stanford receiver Ralph Janvey, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) could be taken to court if it does not return to creditors millions of dollars it received from Stanford.

The ECB, in an attempt to provide its leading players with an enticing alternative to the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), joined forces with Stanford three years ago and received 3.5 million dollars as part of a 100 million deal for a series of Twenty20 matches.

Janvey has started to probe other sporting bodies and lawyer Kevin Sadler, who is working for the receiver, told the Daily Telegraph: “Any entity (or person) which received payments from the Stanford Ponzi scheme is subject to a claim for fraudulent transfer, unless the recipient can prove that the payment was received in good faith and that reasonably equivalent value was given in exchange for the payments.