Wasim Akram, former Pakistan fast bowler, has hailed the Indian Premier Leagu as the most competitive domestic competition in the world besides adding that he rues the fact that Pakistani youngsters do not get a chance to be a part of the tournament.
Post the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League, no Pakistani player has participated in the cash-rich league following the dastardly terror attacks in Mumbai in the same year. Akram said that it is a ‘government subject’ of both countries, he really wishes to see Indian and Pakistani players play together, whether it is in the IPL or the PSL.
“I have always believed that sports shouldn’t be a victim of politics but that is a government subject of both countries and it won’t be apt for me to say anything. But as you said in the question itself, yes IPL is one of the most competitive domestic leagues in the cricketing world and I wish Pakistan youngsters get to be a part of it and I also wish to see Indian players playing in PSL,” Wasim Akram told ANI.
‘People now are hungry for any ‘live sport’ they can get during this crisis’- Wasim Akram
Wasim Akram has been a part of the leagues like the IPL in the past. The ‘Sultan of Swing’ will soon be seen donning the support staff role for Galle Gladiators in the inaugural Lankan Premier League. Akram lauded the T20 leagues for not only providing opportunities for youngsters to showcase their talent but also to rub shoulders with and against the best in the world.
“T20 leagues around the world have given exposure to many cricketers, both young and experienced. Thanks to T20 cricket, the game has become very fast now. Batsmen are scoring runs at a quicker rate, bowlers have become innovative and the standard of fielding have gone up by many notches.” Wasim Akram said.
“And you can see the impact of T20 cricket in the longer format as well. Test matches are producing results frequently than it used to and that is a good sign for the game. When you are playing cricket with a variety of players, on different kinds of wickets and against different kinds of attack on a regular basis, your game is bound to show improvement, and we have seen that with all T20 Leagues in the world and in cricket as a whole,” he said.
Wasim Akram also went on to speak about the raging success that the 13th edition of the IPL has been. Akram said that the success of the tournament despite the absence of live crowd is a clear indication that fans around th world are hungry for live cricketing action.
Over 90 per cent of global sport halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People now are hungry for any ‘live sport’ they can get during this crisis. Though matches are played in empty stadiums, there has been a huge spike in viewership numbers both in television and digital medium. Sports fans too are exploring new avenues to beat the virus and IPL is proof of this,” Wasim Akram said.
“The opening match of the IPL this season was watched by approximately 20 crore people making it the most-watched opening day in any sporting league ever. Sri Lanka too has been devoid of any sporting events during this period, so what better way than to embrace the new normal with the most loved sports in the country. I have no doubt that response of fans to events like this is a huge boost to the sports and the organisers,” he added.