Ranatunga has called for more Test cricket being played
Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has announced that Twenty20 cricket offers no “education” for children growing up.
Ranatunga has been known to lash out at the growing number of domestic Twenty20 tournaments in the past, but this year, his hatred for the format has sky-rocketed after Sri Lanka held the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) and followed that up by hosting the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20.
Speaking exclusively to the Hindustan Times, Ranatunga said: “T20 is only about entertainment, there’s no cricket education in it. It’s your choice. My message to parents is simple: ‘What do you want for your kids, entertainment or education?'”
Ranatunga noted that he was frustrated with the attitude of many players nowadays since they prefer putting these domestic Twenty20 tournaments ahead of representing their country.
“Now, the priority of most of the players is to play the shorter format of the game because of the money factor. Their focus is not on quality cricket. The authorities need to maintain a balance,” Ranatunga added.
The former captain also stated that the growing popularity of the format was taking its toll on international series, most notable being Sri Lanka’s tour of the West Indies next year, where both boards agreed to scrap the Test series for a limited overs series in order to allow the players to play a full season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“Both the boards have agreed to cancel the Test matches and instead have a limited overs series so that the players can play the Indian Premier League. It’s an unfortunate development, I feel bad for the youngsters who aim to play Test cricket. They have no role models. The values of the game are gone,” Ranatunga explained.
With domestic Twenty20 tournaments occurring in Australia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and now maybe even Pakistan every year, Ranatunga believes it is only a matter of time before Test cricket truly becomes extinct.
“The worst part is the Premier Leagues which are mushrooming all around. Cricket is going the football way where the Premier League is the main event. The authorities need to understand that,” Ranatunga said.