Shahid Afridi has described Indian Premier League (IPL) as the best foreign Twenty20 league that he has ever played.
Shahid Afridi, who will be playing in the Sri Lankan Premier League from August 12, said that his experience of playing in the IPL in 2008 had been the best of his career. Afridi was responding to a question at the Moin Khan academy about the mushrooming growth of foreign T20 leagues in which international stars are becoming a necessity.
Afridi who has been part of the T20 championships in India, Bangladesh, England and Australia said, his best experience came in the IPL.
“Although I played just once in the IPL but it is easily the biggest league you can play in and I enjoyed my experience. The IPL is clearly the best organised foreign league and it was a totally different experience playing in it”.
Pakistani players were part of the first edition of the IPL in 2008, but after the Mumbai terror attacks, the same year, franchises have not signed any Pakistani cricketer for the league. Afridi termed the absence of Pakistani cricketers from the IPL as disappointing and hoped things would change next year.
Shahid Afridi, who will represent Pakistan in the coming T20 series against Australia and in the ICC World Cup, also agreed that the growing number of foreign T20 leagues posed a challenge for traditional formats of the sport.
“Obviously as time passes and these foreign leagues grow, players are bound to find themselves in a position where they will have to take decisions about their careers”.”The foreign leagues presented a good opportunity for top players to earn decent money and that is why they were being attracted to these leagues”.
Shahid Afridi, who retired from the longer version of the sport in 2010 after leading his country in one off Test at the Lords against Australia, meanwhile pointed out that the Sri Lankan league posed a big challenge for him.
“We really don’t know much about it but it will definitely help the Pakistani players prepare themselves for the coming series against Australia and the T20 World Cup”. ”It should be a tough league but it will put us in the proper frame of mind for the coming assignments”.
The Pakistan cricket Board (PCB) has under an agreement with the Sri Lankan Board allowed its players to take part in the league.
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