Indian IPL remains the centre of contention in both England, Pakistan and many cricket-loving nations with its money-minting capacity and buying out many global cricketers bringing national boundaries to shrink in the play.
England cricket legend Ian Botham has voiced his concern at T20 IPL developing into a too powerful event undermining the country-based matches and called for the scrapping of it to protect cricket’s future.
“I’m worried about the IPL – in fact, I feel it shouldn’t be there at all as it is changing the priorities of world cricket. Players are slaves to it. Administrators bow to it,” Ian Botham said while delivering the 2014 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s on Friday night.
“How on Earth did the IPL own the best players in the world for two months a year and not pay a penny to the boards who brought these players into the game?” he questioned.
The 58-year-old veteran said the IPL is “too powerful for the long-term good of the game.” Focusing on betting and corruption, coupled with match-fixing scams, he said, “Corruption is enough of a problem in itself, but the IPL compounds that problem given it provides the perfect opportunity for betting and therefore fixing.”
The criticism of IPL came a day before England trounced upon visitors India in their fifth and final ODI on Saturday.
The next day saw new Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan seeking cricketing “powerhouse” India to encourage “democracy” in the functioning of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and seeking room in IPL matches for Pakistani players.
He said, “India’s clout in international cricket is justified but I hope they do all that is required to promote democracy in the system.”
BCCI has gained the control of the governing body of ICC along with England and Australia and Pakistan hopes its interests are taken care of under the new formula.
Bhopal-born Sharyar Khan, 80, a former diplomat and currently PCB chairman, vouched for Pakistani cricketers to take part in the IPL, that was barred after the first edition in 2008 owing to security and diplomatic wrangled between India and Pakistan.
Even Azhar Mahmood, who had played for Kings XI Punjab in the sixth edition of IPL was due to his British passport.
“The Pakistani players unfortunately could not play because of security reasons. I really want to see them play in the IPL next year,” said Shahryar Khan who is back at the helm after 8 years.
Pakistan had lost to India in the semi-finals of the 2011 edition at Mohali and India emerged Champions 2014.