Expansion of IPL will have a negative impact on international cricket – Michael Atherton

The Indian Premier League will be a 10-team affair from the next edition in 2022. The number of matches will be increased which will eventually increase the time span of the tournament. The former England captain Michael Atherton is not happy with the new development.

According to him, the additions of two new teams will impact Test cricket. He further added that cricketers will follow the money if the financial aspect is left unchecked and that will affect the game.

“There will be adverse knock-on effects. The calendar cannot contain the competing demands of international and franchise cricket as it is now, with a two-month window allotted for the IPL. India will want a longer window and, who knows, maybe the owners will eventually want a second station carved out of the schedule.

Cricketers will follow the money. If the market is left unchecked, and the least profitable aspects of the game will suffer — notably Test cricket among countries with small television markets. Relations between the players and their principal employers will fray. Some, like New Zealand, have simply accepted reality and allow their players’ absolute freedom to pick and choose,” Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.

The former cricketer also shed light on the fact that two key England players – Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer- missed out on the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup after facing injury issues while playing in the IPL.

“England are missing two centrally contracted players in this World Cup who were injured in the IPL — an extraordinary state of affairs when you think about it. An imbalance of revenues and the intense gravitational pull of IPL puts stress on a game ill-equipped to withstand it. The advance of the IPL, and its satellite tournaments, will be hard to stop. But the sport that exists only to create a return for investors will lose the precious elements that hinder rather than help the bottom line,” Atherton further wrote.