Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop feels that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has democratised cricket for many countries by providing players from smaller nations an opportunity to lock horns with the top cricketers in the game. Bishop was doing an Instagram Live session with former Zimbabwe pacer Pommie Mbangwa and it was then that Bishop talked about the IPL. “Look, the IPL certainly has democratised cricket for many countries who may not necessarily have had their players playing against the top cricketers. Sandeep Lamichhane (spinner from Nepal) is one example, the IPL has certainly challenged the game,” Bishop told Mbangwa during the chat.
They also talked of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam, with Bishop saying, ““Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, who in terms of the straight lines, you remember Sachin Tendulkar, there’s a reason why I think he was the best batsman I bowled to as he always played in the straight lines and these two guys (Kohli, Azam) present that,”
During the interaction, Bishop also said as to how the West Indies ended up losing some big players as the administration did not fully understand the concept of T20 and how it provides financial security to players.“In the West Indies, initially the administrators did not know the value of T20 cricket and as a result, it had a bad effect. We lost a few significant few players from West Indies for a period of time, and only now we see countries allowing its players to play the IPL,” Bishop said.
“We have missed so many important players and I think it has set back West Indies cricket a little bit, but I never will be envious of what a player is able to earn now to secure his financial future. I am happy to see these young guys have such security for their families,” he added.
The IPL 2020 would be played in the UAE from September 19-November 10. The tournament will be played over 53 days and for the first time, the final will be held on a weekday (Tuesday).
There will be 12 Windies players who would be playing in the IPL this year and they are — Sherfane Rutherford (Mumbai Indians), Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians), Dwayne Bravo (CSK), Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals), Keemo Paul (Delhi Capitals), Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab), Nicholas Pooran (Kings XI Punjab), Sheldon Cotterell (Kings XI Punjab), Andre Russell (KKR), Sunil Narine (KKR), Oshane Thomas (Rajasthan Royals), and Fabien Allen (SunRisers Hyderabad).
Last year, the IPL was won by Mumbai Indians after defeating Chennai Super Kings in the finals.