India should ease grip on T20 leagues: Aravinda

AFP
July 07, 2022

GALLE: Former Sri Lanka captain Aravinda de Silva acknowledged that the IPL and other T20 leagues have benefited cricket, but urged India to allow star players to take part in tournaments...

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GALLE: Former Sri Lanka captain Aravinda de Silva acknowledged that the IPL and other T20 leagues have benefited cricket, but urged India to allow star players to take part in tournaments overseas.

The Indian Premier League has grown into cricket’s hottest property attracting top foreign talent such as England’s Jos Buttler and Australia’s David Warner for millions of dollars to play in the high-octane two-month jamboree.

Aravinda, known for aggressive batting during an illustrious career that included a 1996 World Cup triumph, likened the current T20 leagues to English domestic cricket in the latter part of the last century, which attracted top players from all around the world to learn their craft and gain experience.

“It’s like the county cricket of those days which gave the English cricketers the advantage,” the 56-year-old, who played for English county Kent in the 1990s, told AFP.

“The IPL, Big Bash or in England the Hundred and T20 Blitz, those are tournaments which allow players to develop.”

The Indian Premier League started in 2008 and has spawned copycat tournaments around the world.

But it remains the biggest draw with a recent media rights auction valuing the IPL at a whopping $6.2 billion, or $15 million per match, making it bigger in those terms than football’s English Premier League which is valued at $11 million per match.

Aravinda said India should enable smaller nations to share in the riches generated to grow the game, raise global playing standards and improve skill levels, something that would ultimately benefit the IPL.



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