Shahid Afridi discusses IPL’s impact on the emergence of money in the international cricket

League: Cricket

Posted on: 19 Jun, 2024 at 08:50 AM

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has transformed the landscape of cricket worldwide since its inception in 2008. Known for its glitz, glamour, and high-octane cricketing action, the IPL has not only revolutionized the format of the game but also set a new benchmark for financial opportunities in cricket. With its franchise-based model and substantial broadcasting deals, the IPL quickly became a powerhouse of cricketing entertainment and financial gains.

The money factor of IPL and its influence

Central to the IPL’s influence is its ability to generate significant revenue streams, primarily through sponsorships, broadcasting rights, and endorsements. This influx of money has not only elevated the financial status of players but also brought a commercial dimension to cricket that was previously unseen.

Cricket has become a business: Shahid Afridi

Recently, Shahid Afridi, former Pakistan cricket captain and a seasoned campaigner in international cricket, highlighted how the IPL’s approach to white-ball cricket changed the perception of the game globally. Afridi reckoned that while cricket used to be just a spot, the IPL has turned the fascinating game into a business.

“Look, money has come in, things have changed. Cricket ek business ban gaya hai, pehle ek sport tha (Cricket has become a business; it used to be a sport), but now it’s a business. There’s a lot of commercialization, leagues are happening everywhere in the world. Honestly, the IPL has opened the eyes of all leagues with the way money is involved in white-ball cricket,” Afridi told the 180 Not Out podcast.

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The financial revolution

One of the most significant aspects of the IPL’s influence is the commercialization of cricket. Afridi pointed out that while there was money in county cricket, it involved lengthy seasons and the traditional red-ball format. The IPL, however, has condensed this financial opportunity into a shorter, more dynamic format.

“Previously, there was money in county cricket as well, but it was for a long season of 6 months, and the red ball was involved. I think money is present in every league now because it has become commercialized. Money is coming in and being given to players. Because of this, players are interested … even if they are not playing for their country, they get opportunities in different leagues, which is good,” added Afridi.

Afridi’s perspective on the changes in cricket

Afridi provided a nuanced view of the current cricketing landscape, acknowledging both the positives and the challenges brought about by this financial influx. He highlighted that while national team representation remains a pinnacle of achievement, the rise of various leagues offers cricketers more avenues for showcasing their talent and securing their financial future.

“However, playing for the country is a significant achievement. It has its own unique satisfaction. Cricketers who don’t get a chance to play for their national teams find opportunities in different leagues, which also brings financial benefits and support for their families,” Afridi added further.

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