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May 8, 2008

New cricket order

The genius and the dirt of IPL

Kamran Abbasi
Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Asif warm up, Lahore, October 28, 2007
 © AFP
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The genius of the Indian Premier League is not only has it created an international buzz, but it has also opened up a whole new world of possibilities for cricket. Let’s be clear, the Indian Premier League has hijacked the original idea of the Indian Cricket League and ground its competitor into the dirt. The current formula is problematic, mainly because of the sheer volume of matches crammed into too many weeks.

The execution, however, is a different matter to the concept, and indeed there have been many positives, not least the colour and glitz of each T20 spectacle. Indian fans have enthused about suddenly flung together teams and Indian cricketers have seized an opportunity to shine on a different kind of international stage.

Other countries have fared less well, however. Pakistan’s players have mostly struggled to make an impression on the tournament, which must be some reflection of the quality of Pakistan’s current team. Shoaib Malik and Co can’t even claim to be overworked. If the PCB has any sense it will learn that its own players have much to do to match many of their leading international counterparts. Pakistan fans can only hope that the Packer effect of raising international standards also applies to Pakistan players and the IPL.

The second lesson the PCB should learn from the success of the IPL is that the idea of a Pakistan Premier League is an absolute folly. Why consider a tournament that can only be a pale imitation of the IPL? It might be an idea to revisit when Pakistan’s team is strong again and the country’s cricket is flourishing, but not yet.

Yet the verdict on Pakistan’s own tournament should not be the same as the many other ideas that have sprung up around the world, especially in England. The prerequisites for an IPL-imitator are a strong cricketing infrastructure that provides for fans and fills stadiums, an attractive and lucrative location for international stars, and sponsorship and that will invigorate and fuel the tournament. England, like India and Australia has all these ingredients.

And this is how the IPL –or should we say ICL—has created a whole new genre of cricket. The formula and execution still require more work but any product that produces such an instant global buzz and immediate imitators must have an exciting future—until, of course, the next brilliant idea comes along and grinds today’s crumb of genius into the dirt.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Posted by MumSuigRomiurovigh on (December 10, 2009, 22:57 GMT)

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

Posted by Mehdi Hasan on (June 13, 2008, 4:37 GMT)

Dear Ashraf

How can you make Shoaib the captain who is not a certainity in the test team as I think. Answer me if you can if Shoaib fits in the Test 11. No way man no way..........Please dont destroy the team

Posted by Ipl rules on (June 3, 2008, 13:03 GMT)

its a buisness, look at multi billion dollar leagues such as MLB(major league baseball), NBA(basketball), NFL(american football)... its amazing that some cricket fans still don't believe in moving forward.. look at the fans ipl has attracted lots of young crowd, test cricket is a dying game, only the purist love it.. no one has time to spend 10 hrs a day watching a test match in this fast paced world.

and secondly pakistani players in IPL, with exception of Tanvir, all the other pakistani players were a flop... Pakistan's 1-down batsman younis khan only played 1 or 2 games , which i found hilarious, Pakistan captain Shoab malik was worse than some u19 Indian players .. Deccans and Devils should just buy out afridis/Maliks contracts and not re-sign them for next season, let them sign with ICL so they can all play with the "Badshahs"

Posted by JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on (June 3, 2008, 3:13 GMT)

From the liveliness to the lethargy of Pak Spin.

Kamran I have never seen you so lethargic, whats wrong? 24 days and the last 6 comments have been updated@www.snail.speed.com and that too one at a time with a space of 3-4 days? tsk, tsk, tsk.

I suggest you to write something on Pakistan's team selection for tri-series where Malik Tutankhamen has tried his best to keep Shahid Afridi away from the team on poor performance in the IPL and wanted Mansoor Amjad as his replacement. He has the audacity and the cheekiness to demand such a thing as if he himself has scored 600 plus runs and got the orange cap! Malik scored 51 runs & took 2 wickets, whereas Afridi scored 82 runs & took 9 wickets. There is no need to compare the mediocre performance of both. But, this Meesna Malik who has this gums hum to demand such a thing from the selectors needs to be shown the facts and that too like a slap on his face.

Posted by kris on (June 2, 2008, 20:18 GMT)

There is a lot of needless India-Pak bashing going around. People who like to discuss politics kindly go elsewhere. This blog is to enjoy and discuss cricketing issues for everybody. Coming to the IPL issue, PCB should use this opportunity to negotiate with BCCI and benchmark 1 slot in every IPL team for an upcoming U-19/U-21 Pakistan player. In fact this should be extended to upcoming players from all the 4 subcontinental teams. This will improve the quality of all the subcontinental teams. This is the best opportunity for any youngster to play against the best in business.

Posted by Aditya Mookerjee on (June 1, 2008, 15:17 GMT)

Mr Abbasi, long has been the wait for the next installment of 'Pak Spin'. When is the next one due?

Posted by Omer Admani on (May 29, 2008, 21:16 GMT)

The PCB might look forward to make Akram Coach. What do you think, good move or not? I personally think that is the best thing that could happen to Pak cricket right now.

Posted by Anil on (May 28, 2008, 0:48 GMT)

Man you s... Pakistan players rocked the IPL. Look at Sohail Tanvir and Umer Gul. Also other players performed decently depending upon the chances they got

Posted by Faridoon on (May 25, 2008, 11:35 GMT)

Rizzy Khan, chill dude, don't crucify me. This is not something that I have "come up with just to cause controversy". It's just something I heard and wanted to know if there was any truth to it or if anyone else heard the same.

It is, however, surprisingly pleasant to know that there are still true Shoaib fans out there like Rizzy willing to give him another chance and not asking for his head for every rumor they hear.

For the sake of Pakistan Cricket and all Shoaib fans I do hope that he does only have a knee injury and nothing more; even though the Knight Riders are pretty much out of the tournament.

Posted by INDIAN_DRAGON on (May 22, 2008, 10:29 GMT)

I don't agree with SACHIN FAN(FLORIDA) that tests and ODIs will become obsolete. I am an Indian, and after watching almost every match of IPL for 1 month, I was watching the test match(Eng/NZ) more than IPL matches in those days. I think the test was more Interesting in the first few days.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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