New Delhi: In wake of the poor attendance in the ongoing Test series between Sri Lanka and India, former Sri Lanka captain and current member of parliament Arjuna Ranatunga believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to be blamed for the dwindling interest in the longer format of the sport.
According to a report in the Times of India, Ranatunga said that he has doubts on the present ICC regime on their work for Test cricket.
“We have two top teams in action, playing some exciting cricket, but still we don't have crowds. I have doubts whether the present ICC regime wants to do anything to save Test cricket. It's all about making money for them, which comes through ODIs and T20s,“ Ranatunga told TOI on Friday.
In fact, the P Sara Oval which was the venue of Kumar Sangakkara's farewell Test, struggled to fill its 7,000 seat capacity on most days.
“If this attitude of ICC doesn't change very soon, I don't see a very bright future for Test cricket or the sport in general,“ the former 1996 World Cup-winning captain said.
Over the last decade, most of the visiting teams are struggling to win matches away from home and Ranatunga believes `curtailed' tours are a reason. “Most of the cricket boards just want to finish tours early. As teams don't play enough practice games, they are less acclimatized to alien conditions. That's why you see so many one-sided home series,“ the 51-year-old said.
Ranatunga was also critical of the declining technique among batsman. “The technique of batsmen has gone down substantially . Apart from teams like England, Australia and to some extent South Africa, most of the other teams are concentrating too much on the shorter format. The batmen get exposed in Test cricket,“ he said.
When asked about the future of Lankan cricket now that Kumar Sangakkara has also called it quits, Ranatunga said, “Top players come and go in international cricket. I think we have a huge talent pool in junior cricket. We are still producing quality cricketers like Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal.There will always be replacements.”