Akhtar urges PCB to launch cash-rich T20 league to attract cricket stars

December 17th, 2008 - 11:05 am ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar

Karachi, Dec.17 (ANI): Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar believes Pakistan can lure foreign cricket stars back to the country by showing them the money.
The enigmatic pacer star told reporters here on Tuesday that holding a cash-rich twenty20 league in Pakistan, the countrys cricket officials could raise hopes of international cricket returning to the country.
We need to find our own solution or else cricket will die in Pakistan, The News quoted the 33-year-old, as saying on the sidelines of a Pentangular Cup One-day Championship match between his Federal Areas Leopards and the Balochistan Bears.
We should have our own twenty20 professional league. The money is there and that is one way to get foreign players to play in our country, he stressed.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had made plans to launch the Pakistan Premier League in 2009, but the current batch of officials have shelved the project owing to multiple problems, including the security situation in the country.
Pakistan have suffered major losses this year because of the cancellation of bilateral series against Australia and the postponement of the ICC Champions Trophy which was supposed to take place in Karachi and Lahore in September because of security issues.
Shoaib believes a lucrative twenty20 spectacle similar to the star-studded Indian Premier League (IPL) could bail Pakistan cricket out of the current crisis.
On the issue of bring cricket back to Pakistan, he said: The Indians and other teams need to show the same respect for our cricket and play in our country if our government is giving them security assurances.
India is scheduled to tour Pakistan to play three Tests, five One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International during January-February next year.
But the tour is in doubt because of strained relations between the two countries in the wake of last months terror attacks in Mumbai. (ANI)

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