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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka cricket legend, not in favour of four-day Tests

Kumar Sangakkara is against the advent of four-day Tests, even saying that he has started to lose track of changes being introduced in the sport of cricket.

cricket Updated: Oct 31, 2017 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Many have spoken out in favour of four-day Test matches, but former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara isn’t one of them.
Many have spoken out in favour of four-day Test matches, but former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara isn’t one of them. (AFP)

Kumar Sangakkara has rejected the idea of four-day Test cricket, with the former Sri Lanka cricket captain stating that he has started to lose track of the many changes that have been introduced in the sport.

“Can you imagine an Ashes series where a Test match only goes four days? To have all of that watered down into four days is a bit of a blow, but I understand the whole importance of commercial viability and the economics of it. There is also tradition and history to consider. There have been so many changes over the last five or six years to cricket, even I am losing track,” Sangakkara told Sportsday Radio, according to Fox Sports.

“I’m not a big fan of four day Tests. I understand the thought process behind it to try and have fans interested and attract them so they don’t have to spend so much time. It’s also an advantage for local TV networks and sponsors.

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“But at the end of the day Test cricket has always been defined as five days. Records have been established, history has been made over five days,” he added.

Sangakkara said the expansion of T20 cricket, with several countries staging their own tournaments, has broadened the scope for a player to make a future in cricket.

“Cricket has changed over the last few years, especially with franchise cricket coming in. Now there is a place for everyone. Not everyone will be able to play Test cricket and not everyone will be able to fit into a one-day or T20 side.”

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On the question of whether a player should chose the format he wants to play, Sangakkara said, “I think there is nothing wrong with aspiring to be either. I think it’s completely up to the individual to decide where he wants to play.

“Of course we tend to kind of impose on younger cricketers that Test cricket is where they should learn their skill and expect to be proficient.”

However, the former cricketer said a player must get an opportunity to play in all three formats. “The beauty of it is that everyone’s talent and ability will allow them to explore where they can get to in each format. I don’t think it sells anymore to force or the other down someone’s throat.

“Of course, being a purist, you might argue with me and say ‘that’s blasphemy’. But to ensure that players have a balanced view of what cricket is they need to be allowed to explore all three formats,” he said.

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“Test cricket needs to be protected and safeguarded yes, but not just by forcing it down the throats of players, but by informing them and getting them to understand the culture and read about the history. Allow them to fall in love and take their own time to do it. It’s about balance and each individual finding his or her place,” he concluded.

First Published: Oct 31, 2017 13:52 IST