Latest: ‘In a perfect world,’ these Pakistani cricketers will be top picks in IPL
NBS Webdesk

A collage of Pakistani cricketers Shaheen Shah Afridi (left), Babar Azam (centre) and Mohammad Rizwan. — AFP/File

Former Indian and Australian cricket legends Sanjay Manjrekar and Tom Moody have named a few Pakistani cricketers who could be some of the top picks in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in an ideal world.

Owing to their soured political relations, bilateral cricket between Pakistan and India remains suspended and they play each other only in multi-team events. The two sides also do not trade cricketers in each others’ league cricket tournaments, Pakistan Super League (PSL) and IPL.

A report published by India Today stated that Pakistani pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is a two-times champion at the PSL and currently featuring Nottinghamshire in the T20 Blast, would be a “box office” deal if roped in by any franchise part of the IPL, as per Moody.

The veteran Australian cricketer, who worked as the head coach of IPL’s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), said that a number of Pakistani cricketers including skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan had the potential to attract lucrative deals to become part of the IPL.

“Shaheen Afridi, Babar Azam, Rizwan and Shadab Khan. They have got a number of terrific players, particularly in this format of the game. Shaheen would be your No.1 pick, he would be box office,” Moody was quoted as saying to ESPNcricinfo.

Meanwhile, Manjrekar believes that IPL teams should also opt for Pakistani paceman Haris Rauf for his bowling skills as he is an effective player to bowl the death overs.

“One of the best death bowlers, Haris Rauf,” Manjrekar said.

He also vouched for Pakistani power-hitter Fakhar Zaman to be a valuable addition to IPL.

“I think about their bowlers more than their batters. But Fakhar Zaman would be an interesting choice in certain teams,” Manjrekar said.

The former cricketer was of the view that Rizwan was a player who colu

Moreover, Manjrekar said that Mohammad Rizwan when paired with Babar could be lethal to the opponents while batting.

“Rizwan is somebody who plays the anchor’s role. Sometimes, I tend to get worried when Babar and Rizwan bat together,” he added.

Several Pakistani cricketers including Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Akhtar and Kamran Akmal have played in the IPL but due to strained ties between Islamabad and New Delhi, no player has gone to play in the league since 2009. 

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