‘IPL could help cricket compete with football’

April 2nd, 2008 - 7:25 pm ICT by admin  

(IPL Diary)

New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Articulate England batsman Andrew Strauss simply loves the idea of Indian Premier League (IPL) and says that playing in India will be “great for everyone” concerned. The man who hammered a career-best 177 in the third and final Test last week to help England clinch the series against New Zealand also said that the Twenty20 format could help cricket compete with football in England.

“I love the idea of the IPL and I’m sure at some stage the England players will be involved - that will be great for everyone to see. The IPL is going to change cricket to some extent. There is no doubt about that,” Staruss was quoted as saying on www.setantasports.com.

“I think that Twenty20 is a great format of the game - it introduces the game to a whole new audience and allows cricket to compete with the likes of football and the other bigger sports we have over here.”

There is a move to have a few IPL matches in England too. It is being done ostensibly to lure English players, who cannot be in the tournament’s first edition starting April 18 as its dates are clashing with the English county competitions. Only one English cricketer, Dimitri Mascarenhas, has signed for IPL so far. He will play for Rajasthan Royals in the eight-team competition.


Ex-England player Shaun Udal has doubts

Former England off-spinner Shaun Udal has a different take on IPL. Udal, a county veteran of nearly 20 years, is sure of IPL’s immense drawing power. “I can see the IPL ripping the heart out of our game. I can see people retiring early from playing for England and taking up three-year mega-deals in India,” Udal, 39, who announced his retirement at the end of last season, told the Times, London.

“I hope that the ECB and IPL come to an agreement whereby it doesn’t ruin English cricket. If you look at the quality of the overseas players who are going to be coming this year, with no disrespect to them, the best are not there because you cannot get them,” said the bowler who has been lured back by the offer of a two-year contract with Middlesex.


Owais Shah also welcomes IPL

Welcoming the advent of IPL, England batsman Owais Shah has said that the lucrative tournament, starting April 18, could propel cricket up to the same level as football. “To accommodate the internationals and the different schedules and the playing too much factor are concerns, there is a lot of international cricket being played at the moment and if you make it a schedule where the rest periods are shorter, it may impact on performance,” Shah told Setanta Sports News.

“But the IPL schedule is a good idea as you are only playing for six weeks and the money is also a big issue. “Financial rewards are very high, but at the same time it is good entertainment and promoting cricket in other countries is very good,” said Shah, who once came down to Hyderabad to take batting tips from former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin.

Shah said: “Cricket is a religion in India and is huge and who knows the IPL may come to England and we will be promoting cricket and maybe it could be level with football one day.”

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