Arjuna Ranatunga © Yogen Shah
Arjuna Ranatunga said the proposed World Test Championship would help to recreate interest in the longest form of the game © Yogen Shah

 

Mumbai: Nov 29, 2013

 

Sri Lanka‘s 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga said that with the advent of Twenty20 cricket, India would not be able to produce great batsmen like it had done in the past.

 

“The younger generation doesn’t watch proper cricket and learn. They can’t learn from some of the present batsmen. I can’t see the Sunil Gavaskars, Dilip Vengsarkars, Sachin Tendulkars, Rahul Dravids or VVS Laxmans coming out from this country anymore and that is the saddest part as far as I am concerned,” said Ranatunga on the sidelines of the ‘Wills Realtors’ event in Mumbai on Thursday.

 

“We looked up to India when we were young. We looked up to Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Gundappa Viswanath, when we were kids but it doesn’t happen anymore.”

 

He further said the proposed World Test Championship would help to recreate interest in the longest form of the game.

 

“You need something to bring up Test cricket. This Test championship will give a lot of credibility to some of the countries and some of the players. I hope the wickets won’t be batsmen friendly,” he said.

 

Not known to mince words, Ranatunga said he is not a fan of T20 and lamented about Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) cancelling a series against South Africa in the island nation.

 

“South Africa was supposed to play in Sri Lanka and they (SLC) cancelled the tour to play domestic T20 tournament Sri Lanka Premier League. Ultimately, the sponsors didn’t come and they cancelled it and also the South Africa series got cancelled. South Africa was the No 1 side. Playing in Colombo is not that easy for them.

 

“If we had won the series, we should have come up to No 3 or No 4, now that we are at No 7. They don’t look at the future and the prospects that we can come up and play against the good sides rather than spending money on T20. We had lot of messed up issues in the last few years,” he said.