Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara feels that the rising popularity of shorter formats of the game like the Abu Dhabi T10 League has had a positive influence on Test cricket, making it more exciting.
According to Kumar Sangakkara, who will be mentoring Team Abu Dhabi in the upcoming season of Abu Dhabi T10 League, the shorter formats have made captains more inventive and aggressive. He feels that the batsmen are also picking up and experimenting with newer strokes.
“The influence of shorter versions has made Test cricket more exciting. New shots have been drawn in new scoring rates have brought in, captains are more attacking, newer shots are displayed it has done a lot of actually good."
“It was a very exciting finish (the third Test against India and Australia) with (Hanuma) Vihari and R Ashwin holding Aussies at bay in that final session and to walk away with a draw. Cricket is for everyone, people who have been brought up watching Test matches the real Test five day format, the courage, physically, mentally, your technique is broken down, is analysed in the format,” he added.
Kumar Sangakkara further explained:
“Then again you have a larger section of people now since the advent of T20 cricket and success of IPL and other franchise leagues that have been attracted to newer format who don’t have the intimate connection with the heritage and the history and culture of Test cricket.”
The 43-year-old feels that the world is changing and the newer generation is a little bit more focused on instant or short-term gratification. Kumar Sangakkara added:
“It is wonderful to see cricket hasn’t remained an old man’s game or the game just for the purist but it is continuously growing across various formats and feeding that passion and appetite for the entertainment sports across the world.”
"T10 can be a format to take to the grassroots" - Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara, who represented Sri Lanka in 56 T20Is apart from 134 Tests and 404 ODIs, opined that the T10 format could be a fun way of introducing the sport to children, adding that its overall relevance will depend on how deeply it impacts the perceptions of players and fans. Kumar Sangakkara further said:
“If you see the T10 format and the fact that it has longevity in terms of its three years, there is excitement around it. T10 is a growing format. It’s relevance is going to be how it can deeply impact different perceptions of players and fans. And, how viable it is as a commercial product.
“Can it offer a different format to take to the grassroot and engage kids? Yes, it could be because there is a huge appetite for unstructured cricket in this world. T10 format could be a fun way of introducing a sport where the ambition is not to represent your country, but as part of a healthy lifestyle. To take it to schools and have children buy into it, doing exercises, being athletic, that have long-term positive effects on their lives [sic].”
The latest season of the Abu Dhabi T10 League will kick off from January 28.Published 11 Jan 2021, 21:50 IST