Sports News

No IPL, no problem for Pakistan in 2019

West Indies have gained significant momentum in the recent past. Ricky Skerritt’s arrival as Chairman WICB has allowed common sense to prevail. The T20 stars have returned to the side. Perhaps not since 1999, things have looked so go for the West Indies going into the World Cup. It remains to be seen if they are up for it in what looks like a cold English summer. But there are expectations.

But they dealt a significant blow when Alzarri Joseph dislocate his shoulder while playing for Mumbai. He has been since ruled out of the World Cup. West Indies, have back up. But ask a West Indian fan and it would definitely pinch. He could have been injured practicing in nets, but that would have been different.

Dale Steyn, and Kagiso Rabada have already returned home from the IPL due to injury scares. IPL didn’t want Rabada to leave considering his injury to be minor. However, Proteas physio Craig Govender was in Delhi by chance, looked at the scan and almost forced Cricket South Africa’s hand. South African coach wanted all of them back, much earlier. Yet half a four South African will stay in India till the IPL finishes. Far from ideal isn’t it.

New Zealand players are in a similar board. Nine IPL-based players are yet to join the squad. New Zealand coach Gary Stead have given them extra time off so they can spend some time with their families. In a more equitable world, things would have been different. But such is the financial might of India, no boards could offer to offend them. Boards also get compensated when a player is picked by IPL team. Also, the threat of cutting short or scrapping an India tour makes a lot cricket boards shiver.

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But one team absent from this conversation is Pakistan. We have been invited to play the IPL since 2008. It did hurt Pakistan cricket for many years. But then we were in a way forced to start our own T20 competition. It has helped tremendously. Nonetheless, playing in the IPL would be beneficial for our players certainly.

But in 2019, it might have been a good thing that Pakistani players missed it. Imagine the outrage in South Africa, if Rabada’s injury turns out to be serious. Could it draw a wedge between the South African coach and their leading pacer? If South Africa crash out of the tournament early, players would certainly be questioned for their pursuit of more cash. Despite it being a board decision.

Pakistan, have no such problems. Not being invited for so many years, is now paying off.



Asjad Khan

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