Lara believes the two formats can actually complement each other
Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara has announced that Twenty20 cricket is not having a negative impact on Test cricket and even added that the two formats could actually work hand-in-hand to make the sport even more exciting and bring in more viewers from all over the world.
“I believe now with T20 cricket a lot more people are watching the game,” Lara said. “Just remember, we are all entertainers. And if this kind of cricket brings interest to the people, cricketers will be happy to indulge in it.
“Test cricket is still important, so are ODIs (one-day internationals) but T20 should be there too because of the crowd factor.”
Lara, who represented the West Indies in 299 ODIs and 131 Tests, never got the opportunity to play Twenty20 cricket, but believes that the format will help increase interest for the sport amongst the younger generation.
“In the Caribbean we found it difficult to encourage teenagers to take up the game,” Lara added. “We are now launching our own domestic T20 competition. We will try to seek more youngsters play the game in the Caribbean.
“You look at (David) Warner from Australia, (Chris) Gayle and (Virender) Sehwag. They are strong players in the T20 format. They bring a lot more excitement. You look at Warner bat in a test match. He can easily score 150 before tea. That’s what people want to see. And I think the effect will be a positive one.”
The former West Indian batsman, who is just one of 11 players in history to score more than 10,000 Test runs, also stated that Twenty20 cricket cannot be blamed for bowlers starting to lose interest in Test cricket.
Instead, Lara attributed the lack of interest to the huge number of overs bowlers have to bowl in Tests, compared to only a limited number in ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals.
“What I think is that the bowlers are pulling away from test cricket probably due to the amount of work,” Lara said. “The money on offer in T20 cricket is an attractive proposition for players.
“You’ll find a lot more players making themselves available for T20s. But all in all I think test cricket is still very strong. This kind of competition will make cricket more exciting I believe. Both can go on simultaneously.”