Domestic T20 leagues spelling end for international cricket: Rameez Raza

Islamabad: Former Pakistan cricketer and commentator Rameez Raza believes the rise of various domestic cricket leagues have eroded the importance of international cricket, and these lucrative leagues are slowly devouring it.

Raza cited the example of the West Indies players, who made a huge impact at the Indian Premier League, but doesn’t feels enthusiastic to play for their country.

“The West Indies players in individual capacity at the IPL ruled the format. Try to gather them under the West Indies flag and you get a flat, anaemic unit — as if forced to take the field,” Raza wrote in his column for the Dawn.

“In fact, as a national team they are so unenthusiastic about playing their favourite T20 format that they are languishing below Ireland in the ICC rankings,” he added.

Raza said nowadays players prefer playing for big money in these domestic competitions rather than for the pride of their country.

“If given the choice, and I can confirm as the views have been shared with me, most would only play the League circuit where they feel wanted and are better valued. In fact, you are given to believe that most players around the world are treating their selection for international matches as a springboard to land up in the lap of a franchisee!” Raza wrote.

“The intense expression on the faces of top Indian players to perform at the IPL games is another strong signal that either the guys care more about franchise cricket or find the competition more exciting than the tedious grind of international cricket,” he further wrote.

“Ravindra Jadeja is a clear case of how inconsequential international cricket has become. The all-rounder is yet to play a Test match — the ultimate level for judging a player’s calibre — but got picked for US$2 million at the IPL auction,” Raza concluded.