What's the story?
Former Rajasthan Royals batsman, Owais Shah has opined that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest tournament in the world. Besides, the right-handed batsman even stated that the cricket fans in United States of America closely follow this tournament and the country has the biggest IPL fan base outside Asia.
After India's historic win in the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup, BCCI commenced the IPL where the Indian players united forces with the international stars to compete in an eight-team tourney. English batsman Owais Shah played for four IPL franchises in his career namely Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, and Rajasthan Royals. He featured in 23 IPL games where he amassed 506 runs at an average of 33.73.
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The heart of the matter
Talking to Sky Sports on Thursday (13th February), Owais Shah heaped praises on IPL and said:
"It's probably the biggest tournament in the world, the most followed. If you look at countries like America, apparently that is the country where the IPL is followed the most outside of India."
Discussing the amount of money involved in the game, Shah added:
"Then you throw in the financial rewards that are on offer for the players and when you put that together as a package, it is a great, great competition and that is what makes it so big. When you are involved in it, it is something that you do not experience anywhere else in the world."
He then spoke about the immense fan following that the IPL teams have in India. Shah pointed out that the people wait for hours just to catch one glimpse of their favorite IPL stars and he even stated the room service boys in the hotels have a lot of cricketing knowledge.
When asked if the tournament will help the English players for the T20 World Cup, the Pakistan-born player answered, "Eoin Morgan has played a lot of IPL cricket, Jonny Bairstow has done really well in the last couple of years then you've got Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and all these guys have really benefitted from playing T20 cricket in the IPL."
He even voiced out his mind on the rise of Tom Banton in the T20 arena and said that he has been following Banton since the Big Bash League. Shah feels that the fans should look out for him because he is an exciting prospect. The English batsman also felt that the West Indian batsman, Shimron Hetmyer will light up IPL 2020 with his rollicking performances.
It will be intriguing to see how the English players perform in IPL 2020 which will start from the 29th of March.