‘Need to change how we look at Test Cricket’: Kumar Sangakkara
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes that there is a need to stop treating Test cricket as a “cash cow”, and the boards should continue to invest in the format irrespective of whether it is resulting in financial returns or not. Speaking to former England captain Michael Atherton in a video uploaded on Sky Sports Cricket Youtube Channel, Sangakkara said that there is a need worldwide to change the perception about the format.
“If you are going to treat Test cricket as a cash cow I don’t think it is ever going to work. It’s not going to make financial sense,” the former left-handed batsman said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), last year, came up with World Test Championship to rejuvenate the longest format in the era of T20s. Sangakkara, who currently holds the position of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) President, believes that sustaining such tournaments could be a difficult task, but it must be done to ensure Test cricket remains alive.
“Sometimes Test cricket isn’t going to make sporting sense if you are going to market it to an American or someone who has not been involved in the game. Rather than trying to change their sense of Test cricket maybe we need to change how we look at Test cricket. Not everyone is going to have an iconic series like the Ashes with full crowd,” he said.
“Talk about how to build up the rivalries. Then what about Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and Ireland now... and Bangladesh who are the team on the rise but in the shorter formats,” he added.
“So what are we going to do about that? Are we going to forget about that? Two-tier Test cricket... Test Championships... just do whatever it takes but it that doesn’t work, sustain it. Put in the money,” he further said.
The inaugural World Test Championship, which began in 2019 is originally slated to end with the final at Lord’s in 2021. But with coronavirus leaving cricket calender to shreds, there is a chance that the tournament might be restructured and rescheduled.