Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the two nations who oppose the 'two-tier' Test system © Getty Images
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the two nations who oppose the ‘two-tier’ Test system © Getty Images

One of cricket’s all-time great batsman Sunil Gavaskar believes Sri Lanka’s opposition to the ‘two-tier’ Test system is due to their fear of demotion to the lower division. The Sri Lankan cricket team has been a shadow of itself since the retirement of senior players like Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. Since then, Angelo Mathews has led the inexperienced team, but results have been mediocre. Sri Lanka have fallen down to No.7 in the Test rankings, and have just two wins in their past 10 Tests. In their recent tour of England, they lost the three-match Test series 2-0. They are scheduled to host Australia later this month for three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is. ALSO READ: Happy Birthday Sunil Gavaskar! Indian legend turns 66

Gavaskar, who celebrates his 67th birthday today, in his column for timesofindia wrote, “The Sri Lankans after the retirement of their star players over the past few years have struggled in their rebuilding phase. The younger players have found it a bit hard to get near the lofty standards set by Muralitharan, Vaas, Dilshan, Jayawardene and Sangakkara and so the results have been disappointing to the fans of Lankan cricket who were used to the brilliant cricket that the above-mentioned stars played.”

“It is therefore no surprise that the Sri Lankan Board is not in favour of the proposal to have a two-tier system of Test match cricket with promotion and relegation. The way the current team is shaping up, the Lankans are rightly concerned that their team could end up in the lower division which can have an adverse impact on their revenues.”

The ICC have been contemplating on bringing in the ‘two-tier’ Test system in order to make the format more interesting and give the associate nation’s chance to play Test cricket. Bangladesh earlier were the only nation objecting this system, with the backing of BCCI.