‘Whatever they say will happen’ – Shahid Afridi on India's dominance in world cricket
"It all comes down to the market and the economy." Afridi said.
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Former Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi has pointed out Indian cricket dominance while speaking about the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2022 (IPL) media rights auction. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) managed to sell IPL media rights for the 2023-27 cycle for a whopping INR 48,390 crore, making the Indian league the second-most valuable sports property in the world.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah has also confirmed that there will be a separate two-and-a-half-month window for the IPL in the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) from the next year. Meanwhile, Pakistani players are banned from participating in the IPL due to political tensions between the two countries.
If the IPL manages to get a separate window from the ICC FTP calendar then it will affect Pakistan cricket who will not be able to host or tour the international teams during that timeframe.
Is Indian cricket affecting Pakistan’s FTP schedule?
Pakistan hosted Australia in March 2022, which led to a few big Australian players missing the starting fixtures of IPL 2022 as they joined the league after the end of the international series. Pakistan then had to take a break for more than two months until their recent West Indies series at home after the conclusion of IPL 2022.
When asked about IPL’s impact on Pakistan’s cricket schedule, the former Pakistani star said that India have the biggest cricket market in the world and they will do whatever they decide. “It all comes down to the market and the economy. The biggest [cricket] market is India. Whatever they will say will happen,” Afridi said while speaking on Samaa TV’s show Game Set Match.
Two years ago, Afridi termed the IPL as a very big brand and also revealed that Pakistani players, including captain Babar Azam, should feature in the league as they are missing out on a great opportunity. “IPL is a very big brand and it’s an excellent opportunity – whether it’s Babar Azam or any other Pakistani players to go play under pressure and share the dressing rooms. Pakistani players are missing a big opportunity by not playing in IPL,” Afridi had said.