LAHORE - Former magician Abdul Qadir on Tuesday backed the idea of launching Pakistan Premier League (PPL) and stated that it would attract foreign players and thus end the drought of international cricket in the country.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning to launch the PPL in October and wants to use the Twenty-20 competition to show the world that the country is safe for cricket. Qadir, a former PCB chief selector, praised Chairman Zaka Ashraf for his efforts to bring back international cricket to Pakistan and said the PPL would help first-class players to improve their skills while playing along with international players. “I am optimistic that some very good international players will feature in the PPL,” he hoped.
When asked about the Bangladesh’s visit to Pakistan was halted on security grounds, and it remains to be seen that how the board will rope in foreign players, Qadir remarked: “It is not a team we are inviting this time but the players individually who have to participate in the event.”
“When international players will come here, then definitely finest security arrangements would be provided to them,” Qadir said adding that since PCB has announced to launch PPL, many national and international cricketers shown interest in featuring in the tournament.
Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya and retired Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds have expressed their willingness to play in the tournament, however more confirmations are expected.
Qadir said PPL will definitely become a centre of attention of people, investors and surely for the PCB.
“Just see the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), how successful it went, so PPL is just the beginning of a new era of cricket in Pakistan,” he said. Responding to a question, Qadir said the more teams there will be in the PPL, the more exciting it will get.
“There should be 12 to 16 teams in the PPL and the team’s names must be kept on the cities in Pakistan as to generate a rate of interest among the people,” he said.
Qadir said for example local teams should pick players from their own cities while the international players should be obtained through biding process.