A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Test cricket will die if players like Sachin Tendulkar retire, says Arjuna Ranatunga

Ranatunga is worried about the declining interest in Test cricket

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga has announced that Test cricket is in danger of becoming the format of the past if players like India batsman Sachin Tendulkar decide to retire.

“If players like him (Tendulkar) don’t play the longer version of the game, Test cricket will die,” Ranatunga told PTI. “I pray to God he continues to play Test cricket. I was very happy to know he has retried from ODIs. For me Test is education and the shorter versions are entertainment.”

Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to their first and only World Cup victory to date in 1996, believes Tendulkar is much better than many of the younger talents in the game and added that the ‘Little Master’ can continue playing for another couple of years if his form with the bat improves.

“If he plays one good knock, I am sure he will play two-three years more without a problem,” Ranatunga said.

The former Sri Lankan captain also lashed out at the International Cricket Council (ICC) for folding under the pressure of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in not making the Decision Review System (DRS) a mandatory part of the game.

“I am not blaming BCCI, but blaming ICC for not making DRS compulsory,” he said. “They should not allow home countries to take decisions on the matter.

“They (the ICC) shout, but hardly bite. I have always said that they haven’t changed. ICC should protect the game not individual countries on the DRS issue.

“This system is the best thing that has happened to cricket in the last 20 years and I feel DRS should be adopted by all countries. We would have been better batsmen, bowlers and fielders if the DRS was there in our time.”

Ranatunga, who is also famous for his hatred of Twenty20 cricket, continued his tirade against the format, stating that it does not create high quality and technically correct batsmen.

“They are more concerned about playing the shorter version of the game, earning money, not playing for the country,” he added. “I still remember it was a great concern for us to get India out because they had quality batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly. Within four days we couldn’t get them out.

“But now, we get to see a side folding up before lunch as it lacks technique. They are interested in hitting the ball rather than concentrating on technique.”

Ranatunga also noted that nobody should even dare to speak ill of India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he is the only Indian to have led the national team to victory in the ICC World Twenty20 back in 2007 and the ICC World Cup in 2011.

“I think India should allow Dhoni to captain,” he said bluntly.

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