Wish to see Indian and Pakistani players in each other’s T20 league; says Akram

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DUBAI: For those in the Galle Gladiators outfit, it will be nothing short of a dream to work with the legendary Wasim Akram. Known as the Sultan of Swing, Akram has been a part of many T20 leagues as part of the coaching staff and he is really excited for the LPL to get underway.

Speaking to ANI, Akram threw light on the LPL, the ongoing Indian Premier League, the constant comparisons between Pakistan star Babar Azam and India captain Virat Kohli and most importantly how he wishes that Indian and Pakistani players could have played in each other’s T20 league — IPL and Pakistan Super League.

Wasim Akram with wife Shaniera Thompson

Akram believes that T20 cricket has changed the dynamics of the game and comes as a huge booster for youngsters who not just get a platform, but also gain experience spending time with the stars.

“T20 leagues around the world have given exposure to many cricketers, both young and experienced. Thanks to T20 cricket, the game has become very fast now. Batsmen are scoring runs at a quicker rate, bowlers have become innovative and the standard of fielding have gone up by many notches.”

The former Pakistan skipper has also been an integral part of the IPL in the past and believes that the success of the league post the pandemic is proof that fans want live action. “Over 90 per cent of global sport halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People now are hungry for any ‘live sport’ they can get during this crisis. Though matches are played in empty stadiums, there has been a huge spike in viewership numbers both in television and digital medium. Sports fans too are exploring new avenues to beat the virus and IPL is proof of this,” he said.

Speaking on India and Pakistan, a raging debate has been how Babar could be the next Kohli. While Akram doesn’t like such comparisons, he wants the Pakistan star to take a leaf out of Kohli’s book when it comes to consistency.

“I wouldn’t like to make any comparison but having said that, I would like to add that Babar Azam is an exceptional talent, he has shown his excellence in all formats, but in patches. I would be very happy if he can see the comparison positively and becomes consistent in his performance like Kohli,” he said.

Finally, asked if him working with the Pakistan players — as seen during the lockdown phase — could become a regular affair, the legend said he is always willing to help the cricketers.

“My services are always available for Pakistan cricket. The current lot is an exciting bunch and I love spending some time with them, guiding them if they fall short in any aspect and this is routine, I have been involved with the players on many occasions in the past whenever they needed some guidance and advice. I also think that Pakistan cricket is in very capable hands at the moment and I wish them luck for their future, I am sure they will do a good job,” he signed off. (ANI)