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Strike a balance between franchise leagues & international cricket:Sangakkara

19 February 2021 10:56 pm - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara is opposed to players choosing franchise leagues such as the IPL over international cricket but wants the ICC and member nations to strike a balance as both benefit the game.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) recently indicated that it may not stop its players from participating in the upcoming IPL even if the lucrative T20 event's last matches clash with the Kiwis' Test series opener in England, beginning June 2.

Sangakkara, who is the director of cricket at Rajasthan Royals, was on Friday asked about T20 leagues, the international game and the players who have to often make a difficult decision.

"It is pretty much understood that all contracts are below an international contract. An IPL contract is structured in a way that the players need an NOC from their home Boards to allow them to participate," Sangakkara said during a virtual press conference.

"I am sure that there is a balance that can be struck. It can never be an ideal balance or a perfect balance, but there is the ability to balance it out so that the home boards and players get benefit." He said confrontations between home Boards and players participating in franchise leagues, often forcing them to retire, can leave international cricket a lot poorer.

"It's a constant debate that will happen over what's the ideal balance is. There has been debate in the past on whether there should be a window for the IPL in international cricket,” he said.

"It will be a conversation that will happen between the home Boards and the IPL and within the home Boards and maybe even with the ICC itself," he added..

"It matters what your home Board wants the players to do and it is the balance because it is critical to have your best international players available to play international cricket for as long as possible,” the former Sri Lankan skipper said.

"We have seen that if there is a continuous confrontation between players and home Boards about franchise tournaments like the IPL, we have seen players taking early retirements and that leaves international cricket lot poorer," he added.

The IPL has helped the players to improve their skills, especially for the game's shorter formats, according to Sangakkara, who has picked England, New Zealand and India as the biggest beneficiaries.

"At the same time, the IPL has allowed a stage for the players from all over the world to improve their shorter version skills, that can then be transferred into ODI and Test cricket,” he said.

"We have seen the performance of England in the shorter version of the game in the last few years. New Zealand, in terms of how their side has developed since the advent of IPL.Players participating in it, we have seen the benefits for India. In the recent past, the team that beat Australia in the final Test, you can name that benefit all down the line,” he added.

"In terms of preparation for a T20 World Cup, at this IPL, there are a lot of advantages that come with having your players play in it," Sangakkara said.

Sangakkara, who has played 134 Tests and 404 ODIs during an illustrious career, was also asked about the debate surrounding the use of bouncer in competitive cricket. Clearly he wanted it to remain a part of the game.

"I am not really sure whether taking bouncer away from cricket is going to improve it as a spectacle or will it specially improve players' safety. I think it's been a critical part of the game — one that allows specific challenge between bowler and batsman," he said.

"If you take it away, especially at the junior level, when a player progresses at the international level, he or she will have no idea how to deal with short-pitched bowling,” the left handed batsman said.

"It's been a debate that has come about after discussions about player safety and bouncers and it has been reduced from unlimited to two per over in Tests and one per over in T20s," he added.

According to Sangakkara, "the bumper (bouncer) adds a very exciting dynamics and "it gives the fast bowlers an option as well in terms of how he can make his other deliveries useful using a bumper".(PTI)

  Comments - 5

  • Ding dong bell Saturday, 20 February 2021 12:58 AM

    Sri lanka’s Cricket, Economy and Human rights, all 3 are going same direction very fast. Why?

    Ram Saturday, 20 February 2021 02:49 AM

    Very Good proposal. May I suggest that stepping stone to international cricket can be franchise cricket and unless dropped from international one should not be allowed to play franchise

    Jaffna Logic Saturday, 20 February 2021 03:49 AM

    Sangakara has vested interests in the IPL and he is trying to defend the indefensible. Historically unlike football, cricket was a middle class game and it was about character building along with athletic prowess. That is why you play a game for five long days and could end up with no winners and yet it made full sense. England created so many horrendous things in the world but cricket was one of the great things created by Englishmen. Now with the creation of T20 cricket and the IPL , cricket has taken a turn for the worse, match fixing and the players being controlled by criminals has become endemic. This has moved on and has infected the mainstream cricket in such a way that fans are left to painfully wonder if individual performances and match results are for real or being staged. Now the only way out of this predicament, to save this noble game, is an international commission headed by someone like incorruptible Arujuna Ranatunga.

    Peacemaker Saturday, 20 February 2021 07:58 AM

    Since excluded from IPL, SL players can now play with rajapaksa balls

    Rajeev Saturday, 20 February 2021 11:26 PM

    Look who is talking!!! Sanga is the one that chose to play for IPL instead of Sri Lanka ... this guy is a blood sucker, pretends to be a innocent with a sheepish grin but just the opposite!!!


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