Lahore, Apr 26 : Former Pakistan cricket captain Wasim Akram has said that though Indian cricket leagues - IPL and ICL - may improve the cricketers' lifestyle, but it will lead to premature retirement of cricketers from international cricket.
Though he said he enjoyed watching the IPL matches, and that the abridged format was necessary keeping in mind the time constraints.
"But I still believe that the IPL and Indian Cricket League will create problems in international cricket. You will see players retiring prematurely from international cricket to play in these lucrative leagues," The Nation quoted Akram as saying.
He further said: "Suppose I am a 34-year-old bowler with an uncertain future in the national side. I would retire prematurely to play in IPL or ICL, rather than risk being dropped from the team."
Supporting good payments to players, he said: "All players in the IPL and ICL are professionals and they will go where they would get paid well. All cricket boards and the ICC should have thought about improving pay structure of the players 10 years ago. If this had been done, such leagues could be held officially by the ICC itself."
Akram is also worried that Twenty20 might seriously affect ODIs popularity and he advised ICC to make changes in one-day cricket. "I think the ICC and member boards need to think of changes to make the middle overs (in an one-dayer) more interesting. People change channels during the 20-40 over period as the game slows down due to the batsmen scoring slowly and cementing the innings. It is the onslaught in the final 10 overs that interests viewers," he said.