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'IPL hurting international calendar'
April 18, 2008 15:03 IST
The Indian Premier League has come in for flak from former Pakistan captains including Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram, who feel the cash-rich Twenty20 competition will damage the international cricket calendar.
"The IPL has already started hurting the international calendar and in the long run it will encourage more private parties and organisations to come in and start their own leagues if they have big money to roll," Miandad said on Friday.
Miandad said the IPL would create a divide in international cricket and feared players would be willing to sacrifice their international careers to play for more money in the BCCI-backed league.
"People are comparing the IPL with the Kerry Packer series in the late '70s. But these are two totally different things. The Packer series was held when players were paid ridiculously low wages," Miandad said.
"The Packer circus brought in new concepts into international cricket which were beneficial in the long run and it forced the boards to improve pay structures to a reasonable level. The figures being quoted by the IPL organisers are ridiculously high," he said.
Miandad said when the International Cricket Council had decided to host the Twenty20 World Championship every alternate year, there was no room for a private league.
Akram also raised an alarm in a television interview, saying the IPL could prove to be a negative distraction for international players as they could end up preferring to play in private leagues than for their national teams.
"Already the statements we are reading indicate the thinking process of some players. Cricket is all about national pride and colours, not Twenty20 cricket," Akram said.
He said the ICC [Images] needs to exercise its authority and control the private leagues directly or they would get out of hand and destabilise the cricket calendar.
Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq [Images], who is a leading figure in the Indian Cricket League, said the ICL's move to seek recognition from the ICC is going to define the future of such private leagues.
But he maintains that national colours should remain the top priority for every player.
Former wicketkeeper Rashid Latif said he has his reservations over the long term benefits of private leagues like the ICL and IPL.
"I have always said players need to be paid more by their cricket boards who make a lot of money because of them. But the ICC must not allow anyone, including their members, to disrupt the international calendar. The IPL is going to do this," he said.
Former spinner Iqbal Qasim said the ICC has to ensure private events do not damage traditional cricket and its future tours programme.
"Players must earn good money if they get a chance but not at the cost of national commitments. I fear the IPL has already started affecting the international calendar and mentality of players," Qasim, who played 50 Tests for Pakistan, said.