Kumar Sangakkara and Daniel Vettori called for schedules to be appropriately balanced to ensure Test cricket’s primacy is maintained and the fifty-over format isn’t eliminated by Twenty20.
Both captains were speaking ahead of Tuesday’s ODI between Sri Lanka and New Zealand — the first in the week-long tri-series for the Compaq Cup.
“I hope it stays,” said Sangakkara, asked about the survival of the 50-over format. “We need a fair solution, a balanced solution, a solution that ensures the primacy of Test cricket is preserved.
“Twenty20 and ODIs can be played in whatever ratio they need to be played, but the long-term survival of Tests is most important.”
“The 2015 World Cup will be played in Australia and New Zealand, and I know the people there are immensely looking forward to it in the 50-over format. There’s a lot of cricket being played so it’s vital we get the balance right,” said Vettori.
Chance to evaluate
Asked if the tri-series would assist preparation for the Champions Trophy, Sangakkara said, “You can evaluate where you stand in your own conditions. If it has an effect other than (building) momentum and confidence is hard to say.
“The conditions will be different in South Africa, we’ll play a different combination as well. But yes, it’s always satisfying to win.”
Vettori said the tri-series was a chance to assess how his team matched up against two very strong sides. “It’s going to be a very tough competition. It’s quite good for us to play two very difficult teams. Victory will put the side in a good space.”
In team news, Sangakkara said Muttiah Muralitharan was recovering well from the groin injury he picked up during the Test series. “Hopefully, we’ll have him ready for tomorrow.”
On the difficulty of chasing under lights at the Premadasa Stadium, Sangakkara said, “We know the reality, we know it’s easier batting first, but that doesn’t mean you lose the match at the toss. If you know the trend, if you know the recent past, it’s up to you to change it.”
Both captains were asked if India would be adversely affected by the opportunity to become the top-ranked ODI team (the side, currently ranked second, will move up if it wins the tournament after winning both league games).
“I hope so,” said Sangakkara, smiling before adding, “No, they’re a very good side so I expect nothing but the best from them. But it’s good India is coming because all the focus is on them. It helps us go under the radar.”
Vettori said, “Knowing India, they wouldn’t be too worried about (the pressure). They’re natural players, they’ll just turn up and play. It’s exciting having them in the tournament.”