Pakistan cricketers now switch to American league

April 20th, 2009 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

By Omar Khalid

Karachi, April 20 (IANS) Uncertain about their future with the unofficial Indian Cricket League (ICL), seven Pakistani cricketers, including former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, have signed up to play for the American Premier League (APL) in its inaugural season later this year.

According to sources, Inzamam and six more national cricketers - Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir and Saqlain Mushtaq - will be featuring in the APL-a Twenty20 spectacle to be held on the pattern of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Inzamam led Lahore Badshahs - a team made up of Pakistani cricketers - in the ICL in 2007 and 2008.

However, the players are without any assignment this season as the ICL scrapped its contest planned for April because of the current financial recession.

Seven of those players have been in discussions with an American entrepreneur, who is taking steps to establish an international Twenty20 tournament in New York City.

Jay Mir, the president and CEO of American Sports And Entertainment Group Inc, has drawn up plans for a six-team American Premier League, to be staged in October on a converted baseball field in Staten Island, NYC.

Mir has lined up a three-year staging deal with the minor-league baseball team, Staten Island Yankees. Using a franchise and auction system similar to the IPL, he hopes to draw up six “international” sides - Premium Pakistan, Premium Indians, Premium West Indies, Premium World and Premium America - the final side drawn from the best of the talent on show from approximately 15 million cricket fans who already live in the US.

The venue has a capacity of approximately 10,000 spectators and has state-of-the-art facilities.

Mir has lined up an agent in England who would help recruit players for the World XI, and he had been in negotiations with the former West Indies captain, Richie Richardson, whom he hopes will act as both a coach and a recruiter for a potential West Indies team.

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