LONDON: England great Ian Botham said Wednesday the Indian Premier League was “too powerful” for cricket’s long-term good as he called for the lucrative Twenty20 domestic tournament to be scrapped.
Delivering the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s, where he was once a ground-staff boy before going on to star at the ‘home of cricket’ for both Somerset and England, Botham also expressed his fears about the IPL’s effect on corruption within the world game.
“I’m worried about the IPL — in fact, I feel it shouldn’t be there at all as it is changing the priorities of world cricket,” the 58-year-old former England captain said.
“Players are slaves to it. Administrators bow to it.
“How on earth did the IPL own the best players in the world for two months a year and not pay a penny to the boards who brought these players into the game?
“I know this has been modified to a degree, but it is still an imbalance.
The IPL is too powerful for the long-term good of the game.
“Corruption is enough of a problem in itself, but the IPL compounds that problem given it provides the perfect opportunity for betting and therefore fixing.”