Pakistani players were a part of the inaugural IPL edition in 2008. But that was the first and the last time you saw them play the biggest league on the planet. Wonder why Pakistani players are not allowed in IPL? Well, it has nothing to do with sports. Instead, it’s all political.
In November 2008, India’s business capital, Mumbai witnessed a horrendous terrorist attack perpetrated by Pakistan. Pakistan denied any involvement, though. Despite India presenting enough evidence, our neighbour never bothered to prosecute the perpetrators. Enraged India snapped all ties with Pakistan. Since then, we are yet to see bilateral cricket between the two arch-rivals. Also, Pakistani cricketers were denied entry in the IPL and the ban is valid even today.
Hypothetically speaking, if Pakistani players are allowed to participate in IPL, which players would fetch the biggest paycheck? Read on, here’s your rundown on the top five of them.
1. Babar Azam:
Riding high on a string of performances, Babar is storming his way into the FAB-FOUR club, alongside the likes of Kohli, Smith Williamson and Root. Averaging 56.84, he has accumulated 3808 runs and 13 centuries in 80 ODIs at a decent strike rate of 88.7. His T20 record is equally impressive with 1940 runs at an average of 48.5 and a strike rate of 131.61. With his copybook technique and a solid temperament, Babar could walk into the IPL team’s middle order.
2. Mohammad Hafeez:
Age is just a number. At 41, Hafeez is fit to play the shortest format and deliver with both bat and ball. He has amassed 2,323 runs in 99 outings at 27.98. Hafeez finished the previous year with 415 runs in 10 T20Is, making him the most prolific scorer for the otherwise struggling Pakistan. He’s a natural stroke player and can bat at any number. His off-breaks are a bonus.
3. Shaheen Shah Afridi:
From Akram to Amir, Pakistan has had a fair share of world-class fast bowlers. Shaheen looks to be in the same league. It’s early to say that, though. Pacy, accurate, and can swing the ball both ways, the 20-year-old is spearheading the Pakistani pace attack for some time now and has matured well. Since 2018, Shaheen has played 18 matches and accounted for 22 dismissals at an economy of 7.78. In PSL, Pakistan’s equivalent of IPL, he has 11 wickets in 7 games.
4. Shadab Khan:
He’s a genuine all-rounder who can be an asset for any IPL team. In a short yet impressive career, Shadab has featured in 46 T20Is, scoring 183 runs and striking at 124.5. He’s more than a capable leg break bowler with 53 dismissals and an economy of 7.28. Now you know why Pakistani players are not allowed in the IPL, but if Shadab could play in the IPL, he would be a prized catch.
5. Fakhar Zaman:
Pakistan’s only double-centurion in ODIs, Fakhar is a real dasher. On his day, the left-hand bat can wreak havoc on opposition bowlers with some breathtaking stroke play. In 50 ODI innings, he has raked in 2262 runs at a healthy average of 49.17 and striking at 97.12. T20 has been his forte where he has scored 933 runs at an impressive strike rate of 137.21.
Pakistani players are banned from IPL. But if they are allowed to play, these players could have fetched some mind-boggling paychecks from the top IPL franchisees.