By Arif Afzal Usmani
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The American Premier League (APL) Cricket Tournament got off to a disappointing start as the spectators abstained from watching the action and the big baseball grounds remained deserted in the first three matches held on its opening day on September 21.
The organizers had been claiming that the APL was going to become the greatest cricket event to be held in the United States but the presence of just a few hundred spectators in the first three games didn’t prove so.
People had shown tremendous enthusiasm in collecting free tickets for the matches but they didn’t turn up to witness the matches. Even the presence of former Pakistan fast bowler Muhammad Asif in one of the participating teams could not lure people to visit the stadium.
The organizers of the APL are attempting to reach the cricket enthusiasts by live streaming of action while a leading media organization, ARY, is also supporting the tournament but it has yet not succeeded in creating the kind of buzz which was being promised.
The organizers of the APL consider theirs as the most successful cricket event in USA but the fact remains that the historic Double Wicket Championship organized by Worldwide Sports in New Jersey a couple of decades ago was a much bigger event which attracted huge media coverage globally as the action was televised live in 52 countries. The megastars of the era like Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi, Vinod Kambli, Jimmy Adams and Sunil Joshi had taken part in the event.