Thursday May 14, 2020
Veteran Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has said that the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Indian Premier League (IPL) have an edge over Big Bash League (BBL) as the former two prioritise cricket over glamour while the latter gets caught up in gimmickry that at times clashes with on-field play.
Watson, a regular at T20 leagues around the world, lauded Pakistan’s PSL and India’s IPL for making a clear distinction between on-field play and media stunts.
"The one thing that the IPL and PSL do is make the quality of the cricket, the product, the number one priority. They know that if this is of the highest quality possible, then the longevity of the tournament and the commercial growth and success will look after itself. Don't get me wrong they have all of the bells and whistles as well, however the glitz and glamour goes on before and after the matches but very rarely does the entertainment affect the players ability to perform at their best. This is where the BBL has really lost its way," Watson stated in his T20 Stars blog.
"The quality of the cricket has been put on the back burner in the Big Bash and the entertainment gimmicks have been brought to the forefront.”
Watson criticised BBL’s practice of interviewing cricketers during the course of the match, saying it takes away from the quality of cricket.
"One of the gimmicks that I really feel takes away from the quality of the cricket product is the mic'ing up of players - up to 2 players from each team fielding are being mic'd up with a significant amount of the captains being one of the two players. How in the world is a captain supposed to have his mind on the game when he is being interviewed regularly when he should be focusing on what is required for his team and his own performance, at that moment in time," the World Cup-winner said.
"A number of the young guys are more focused on being entertaining on the microphone instead of prioritising their mental energy, to have it ready to go when the game calls on them, instead of burning it unnecessarily being a player/commentator. The number 1 priority has to be the quality of cricket."