Pakistan plans own version of IPL

LAHORE, April 13, 2011 (AFP) – Pakistan hopes to launch a new cricket league based on the lucrative Indian Premier League in a bid to win back its status as an international host, an official said on Wednesday. International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since March 2009 when gunmen attacked a convoy carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team in the eastern city of Lahore.

Security fears remain high, but Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) domestic cricket general manager Sultan Rana said the popularity of the Twenty20 format made it a possibility worth exploring.

The IPL, which rakes in millions of dollars each season, is now in its fourth year and attracts top international players from across the cricketing world.

“We have discussed the idea of having a professional IPL type league in the recent PCB cricket committee meeting and agreed to keep it alive as one of the main events to restore our international activity,” Rana told AFP.

“We had been deliberating on the idea of having an IPL type league but… after the Lahore attacks we had to put that on hold,” said Rana, who also served on the Asian Cricket Council. Rana told the cricket website that top foreign players would not b