'Cricket ek business ban gaya hai...'- Shahid Afridi highlights IPL’s influence on transforming white-ball cricket

Shahid Afridi played in the very first edition of the IPL in 2008.

Shahid Afridi played in the very first edition of the IPL in 2008 | XFormer Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi opened up about how IPL’s influence has turned the game of cricket into a business.

There is no doubt that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has undoubtedly revolutionized the landscape of cricket, transforming it from a mere sport into a lucrative business venture.

However, Afridi highlighted that the IPL has had a tremendous impact on the evolution of cricket, particularly white-ball cricket.

According to Afridi, the IPL has paved the door for the formation of multiple additional leagues around the world, demonstrating the enormous financial potential connected with the game's shorter formats.

"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.

The inflow of money has not only attracted players but has also created possibilities for individuals who were previously disregarded, allowing them to exhibit their talents and earn a life via cricket.

One of the important points raised by Afridi is the commercialization of cricket. The IPL has proved the potential for significant financial benefits in white-ball cricket, resulting in the expansion of leagues in multiple countries.

"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," added Afridi.

Afridi, on the other hand, agrees that, while playing for one's national team remains the pinnacle of performance and brings a distinct feeling of fulfillment, the introduction of these leagues has opened alternate pathways for cricketers who may not have had the opportunity to represent their country.

"However, playing for the country is a significant achievement. It has its unique satisfaction. Cricketers who don't get a chance to play for their national teams find opportunities in different leagues, which also brings financial benefits and support for their families," Afridi concluded.


By Jatin Sharma - 12 Jun, 2024

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