Players giving more importance to private leagues is degrading international cricket, opines Inzamam

Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq expressed his disappointment with the ICC, as seven New Zealand players have withdrawn from the ODI and T20I series against Pakistan, to take part in the 2021 IPL in UAE. Skipper Kane Williamson, James Neesham and Trent Boult will be the most notable absentees.

The global white-ball leagues have slowly become the flavour of modern day cricket, with the slam bang format and the money that comes with it, attracting the players and fans alike. The Indian Premier League is arguably the most celebrated one of them all, as star players from various countries feature in the competition. Alongside its fame and success, over these years, the IPL has been offering a great income for the cricketers. Considering these factors, there have been instances when overseas players have prioritized IPL over international matches, and the clashing schedules have only added to the woes.

New Zealand on Monday, August 9, announced their squads for the T20 World Cup and the limited overs leg in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. Skipper Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner and Tim Seifert were the players released by the New Zealand cricket board to take part in the IPL 2021, resuming September 19.

The T20 World Cup will commence soon after the IPL in the UAE and the objective of the decision might be to allow players to get used to the conditions. However, it has irked Inzamam-ul-Haq, who on to question ICC of its silence on the matter and believes that it is “degrading international cricket”. The former Pakistan Skipper stated that the players are giving more importance to private leagues than playing international cricket.

“I feel that the Pakistan team is not getting proper practice because they are not getting to play against the main players. What is the ICC doing? What message are they trying to give? Players are giving importance to private leagues and not international cricket. It’s like degrading international cricket. If you see the whole sequence, it’s happening only against Pakistan,” Inzamam said on his YouTube channel.

Pakistan has been on the receiving end on multiple occasions in recent times. Earlier in April, when they toured South Africa, the key players from the hosts’ camp had flown to India to take part in the IPL. The 51-year-old believes that his national team has not been able to battle with full strength teams lately, due to the poor system.

“Wherever the Pakistan team is going, they are not getting a chance to play against the main players. When we went to South Africa in April, they sent their players for the IPL. With the upcoming NZ series in Pakistan, seven NZ players have opted out of the tour to play IPL. Even in the recent England tour, the whole England team got changed due to COVID-19 in the camp,” he added.

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