Image Credits: BCCI, PCB & Instagram composite
With Dale Steyn sparking off the debate between the enormity of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) months ago, veteran Pakistani speedster Wahab Riaz has weighed in on the debate after being associated with his home-grown T20 league of which he has been a part of since 2015. Downplaying the comparison between the two T20 leagues downright, Riaz has said that both the leagues can't be compared as the Indian tournament remains far ahead in the race of T20 leagues in the world. Pointing out intricate differences between the IPL and the PSL, Riaz asserted that no league can 'compete' with the IPL.
Mentioning the IPL players draft, the presence of top international players and the way the league is run, the 35-year-old speed gun said that IPL is at a 'different level'. For context, while IPL invites players from all across cricketing nations, the players' pool in the PSL only include those who have been unable to make it to the regular squad of their respective countries.
“IPL is a league where all the top international players come and play. You can’t compare IPL with PSL, I believe IPL is at a different level. Their commitments, the way they run things, communicate things, the way they draft the players, that is totally different. I don’t think any league can compete with the IPL, but if there is any league that stands behind it, it has to be the PSL. The League in Pakistan has proved it,” Riaz said during the interview with Cricket Pakistan’s YouTube Channel.
However, handing PSL a moral victory in one aspect of the game, Riaz claimed that the standard of bowling in the Pakistani league remains unmatched in any T20 competition across the globe. Lauding the bowlers in PSL, Riaz said that the quality of bowling is a reason why there are not many high-scoring games in the PSL.
“The standards of bowling are quite high. The kind of bowlers you get in the PSL is not found in other leagues, not even in the IPL. This is why PSL doesn’t have many high-scoring games. The bowling attacks in PSL are the best in the world,“ Riaz said.
Pakistan's former spearhead Mohammad Amir who called it a day at the age of 28 last year due to his feud with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the selection process has revealed that he has been looking to get British citizenship. Mohammad Amir in interaction with Pak Passion revealed his plans regarding applying for British citizenship which may make him eligible to play in the Indian Premier League. Notably, players from Pakistan are restricted to take part in India's cash-rich tournament since the second edition due to political tension between the two countries.
It is to be noted that Mohammad Amir will be eligible to play in the IPL once he gets British citizenship, just like Azhar Mahmood participated in the lucrative T20 tournament. The only player who has been a part of the league after the inaugural edition is Azhar Mahmood, the former Pakistan all-rounder, who registered himself as an English player and appeared for the Punjab Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Halfway through the tournament, the IPL 2021 was indefinitely postponed after the bio-bubble was breached during its Delhi leg of matches. The breach was confirmed as two KKR players - Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier - tested COVID positive, following which several players and support staff also were infected. A BCCI official quoted by ANI has revealed that the Indian Cricket Board is keen to tap the September window to conclude the IPL 2021 before the T20 World cup. The BCCI official hinted that if the COVID-19 situation will be under control in September then the 14th edition of IPL can be completed.