LONDON (AFP) - Money has been the "ruination" of cricket, former Test umpire Dickie Bird said Saturday, after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) terminated all contracts with alleged fraudster Allen Stanford. Bird called for a return to "old traditions and principles" in a comment piece in The Sun tabloid and said he felt "saddened" when he saw large sums of money pour into cricket. "It was right for the England and Wales Cricket Board to terminate all contractual links with Allen Stanford," Bird, a county batsman for his native Yorkshire and Leicestershire before becoming an umpire, wrote. "But it is too late because the damage has already been done. It depresses me what has happened to the game I knew and was brought up on as a boy. Money has been the ruination of cricket." He said that authorities should have questioned LStanford's interests in financing multi-million-dollar cricket tournaments, but instead "saw the dollar signs and dived in head-first, without thinking." Bird continued: "There was nothing wrong with the game throughout my era as a player and an umpire. But it has all changed. Why can't we leave things alone? We need to return to some of the old traditions and principles." The ECB will not be taking part in any further Stanford Twenty20 matches in Antigua or the proposed Stanford-sponsored international quadrangular Twenty20 events in England, the first of which was due to be played at Lord's in May. Negotiations between the ECB and Stanford were suspended on Tuesday when it was revealed that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had charged the Texan tycoon with an alleged nine billion dollar fraud. Under the deal struck between the ECB and Stanford last year, England were due to play four further 20 million dollar matches in the Caribbean, while the proposed quadrangular events were scheduled to take place annually from 2009 to 2011, with each worth around nine million dollars. The Stanford Financial Group claims to serve 50,000 clients in 140 countries with more than 50 billion dollars of assets under management or advisement. It was particularly successful in Latin America and the Caribbean, where authorities sought to quell fears among depositors who formed long queues outside local branches. Five Latin American countries have already taken action against companies owned by the 58-year-old Stanford. Bird achieved global cricket celebrity while standing in a then world record 66 Tests from 1973-1996 and he was also in the middle for the first three World Cup finals.