Akram warns ICC against IPL's potential danger to cricket

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Lahore, Apr 15 (UNI) Putting a strong appeal before the ICC, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has warned the governing body against the Indian Premier League's (IPL) potential danger to World cricket.

''I fear the IPL can be a serious distraction and destruction if the International Cricket Council (ICC) doesn't intervene because it involves huge money and players are ready to abandon international cricket,'' Akram said.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) backed IPL is scheduled to start from April 18 that will feature eight teams with numerous international stars competing against their current and former teammates.

Akram criticised the ICC for not been able to forsee the situation that has been exploited by the cash rich IPL.

''The ICC should have foreseen the danger 10 years ago because the ICC and cricket boards of countries earn billions of dollars with players getting a small percentage, so such a thing was bound to happen,'' he said.

He added that with IPL's arrival in to the scene, players would prefer to leave international cricket to earn quick money in the Indian Twenty20 tournament.

''Had players been paid properly by the ICC and the boards they would not have joined such leagues.

''Now there has come a stage where players are willing to opt out of international cricket, which is dangerous,'' he added.

The former Pakistan captain, who has played 104 Tests and 356 one-day internationals, is hopeful that the new ICC chief Haroon Lorgat would arrest the situation with his competency.

''The new ICC chief executive seems a level-headed man and I hope he finds a solution,'' he said.

Akram who holds the world record for most one-day wickets with 502 added that Twenty20 cricket is no threat to Test cricket but interest in 50-over matches have certainly declined with its arrival.

''Test cricket will stay on as it is but I think the ICC will have to find some ways to keep the 50-over interest alive.

''Overs 20 to 40 are starting to prove boring for fans, even I would not watch the middle overs if players like Adam Gilchrist, Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi aren't batting,'' he said.

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