Shoaib Akhtar fears for international cricket amid glut of cash-rich leagues

Pace legend Shoaib Akhtar. Photo: File 

Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to not let the global game be sacrificed in favour of cash-rich franchise leagues as he rued the postponement of World T20 - a decision some suspect was taken to pave way for the Indian Premier League. 

"If you don't do justice for the next two years, there will be only two World Cups and ten leagues happening," Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel 

"If the ICC wants to go that route, then it is your wish. We can only talk about cricket being destroyed but we can't do anything."

The legendary pacer also took aim at the modern game, saying it tilts towards batsmen to the extent that genuine fast bowlers are going extinct.

"You’ve to give permission for bodyline bowling. You’ve tied the hands of fast bowlers. What type of cricket are you organising? Two new balls with a restriction on bouncers ... what do you want that the bowlers should go there just to be hit?" he asked.

"There are a few fast bowlers left in the world, including Pat Cummins who is sometimes unfit and another Jofra Archer who was bowling at 150 kph but now bowling at 132 kph," he said. 

Akhtar said that the game is set to sink even deeper if the powers that be don't wise up.

"Till the time you don't do justice, cricket will keep going down. The way we played cricket will always be remembered. Whether it be the West Indies' era or our era of the 90s and even after that, we have had big names and people remember that era," he said.

Shoaib Akhtar fears for international game amid glut of cash-rich leagues