'Cricket has become a business' - Shahid Afridi highlights the perks of playing most loved sport

"IPL has opened the eyes of all leagues with the way money is involved in white-ball cricket," said Afridi.

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Jay Shah and Shahid Afridi.
Jay Shah and Shahid Afridi. (Photo Source: Neville Hopwood, Ashish Vaishnav/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen an upsurge of cricketers flocking to India in the summers to contest in arguably the biggest league in the world. With the grander stage comes hefty money that keeps the interest of even foreign cricketers in check. Inspired by the IPL, many such leagues mushroomed around the world. Keeping this trend in mind, former Pakistan skipper, Shahid Afridi has claimed that cricket as a sport has become a business. 

Thanks to the ever-increasing fandom of cricket, the business entities involved have garnered immense monetary benefits. Advertisements and sponsors have multiplied and even the uncapped players are keeping their professional cricket alive. Though it is predominantly seen in white ball cricket, Afridi iterated that even County cricket used to splurge money but for an arduous six-month grind. 

"Look, money has come in, things have changed. Cricket ek business ban gaya hai, pehle ek sport tha (Cricket has become a business; it used to be a sport), but now it's a business. There's a lot of commercialization, leagues are happening everywhere in the world. Honestly, the IPL has opened the eyes of all leagues with the way money is involved in white-ball cricket," Afridi told the 180 Not Out podcast.

Also Read: ‘Itni jaldi mubarakbaad na de mujhe’ - Shahid Afridi reveals conversation with Yuvraj Singh following IND-PAK clash

"Previously, there was money in county cricket as well, but it was for a long season of 6 months, and the red ball was involved. I think money is present in every league now because it has become commercialized. Money is coming in and being given to players. Because of this, players are interested even if they are not playing for their country, ... they get opportunities in different leagues, which is good," he further added. 

IPL sets the amenities standard for players

Talking about the monetary gains for cricketers, Australian pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins were bought by their respective IPL teams for a record sum ahead of IPL 2024.

Also Read: Pat Cummins analyses his T20 bowling, compares it with Test match cricket

While Starc was signed by Kolkata Knight Riders for 24.75 crore, Cummins assumed Sunrisers Hyderabad leadership for 20.5 crore. Moreover, Hardik Pandya was traded from Gujarat Titans to Mumbai Indians in a record deal of 15 crore.

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