Brian Lara has said that the rapidly increasing popularity of T20 cricket is not dangerous for test cricket.
Lara was talking to the reporters after the opening ceremony of Bangladesh Premier League. Lara is the ambassador of that league.
When asked if the increasing popularity of T20s is affecting the test cricket adversely, Lara said, “No, I don’t think so. I know people like watching T20s more than test matches, but, it doesn’t mean that test matches will not survive.”
“Many people still like watching test matches. In 2011, when India had visited England, the stadiums were completely filled in all the four test matches. Also, during the Ashes series in 2010-11, the stadiums were jam packed.”
“I think if we have to draw people towards the stadium to watch test matches, we need to prepare result oriented pitches. The pitches that were used in the recently played test series between West Indies and Bangladesh are not going to pull the crowd in. They were just dead pitches.”
When asked if the technique of a batsman gets affected if he plays too many T20 matches, Lara said, “It’s also a wrong perception. You look at batsmen like Chris Gayle, David Warner and Virender Sehwag. They play a lot of T20 cricket, but, they are very good test match players as well.”
“Somebody like Chris Gayle can easily score 200 runs in one day in the test matches and that is what the spectators come to watch. They want to see aggressive cricket even in test matches.”
When asked about the performance of the West Indies team on the Bangladesh tour towards the end of last year, Lara said, “They did a fine job in test matches. To win both the test matches on those flat decks was really incredible. But, they should have done better in the ODIs.”