Players need to be creative in T10, says Sangakkara Filed on January 11, 2021
Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara. (AP)

Sangakkara believes other countries could soon take a leaf out of the UAE’s book in terms of establishing their own T10 leagues

Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara doffed his hat to the T10 format for generating a new buzz in world cricket.

The former Lankan captain, who will be the mentor of Team Abu Dhabi in the fourth edition of the T10 League (January 28-February 6), believes T10 offers an opportunity to spread the game in non-cricket playing countries.

“It’s a very exciting tournament. The T10, as a format, has been very exciting. It’s been only few years since the tournament started, but it has already generated a lot of buzz. It’s a format that has a lot of potential to grow beyond its current status,” Sangakkara, who retired from international cricket with a staggering Test average of 57.40, told reporters during a virtual press conference on Monday.

One of the greatest left-handers cricket has ever seen, Sangakkara says players need to be creative and flexible to achieve success in the shortest format of the game.

“As a mentor (at Team Abu Dhabi), my job will basically be about making the players understand that there is no reward without risk,” he said.

“The calculated risks need to be taken. You need to have a creative mind right from ball one to be able to do well in this T10 format and you need to be flexible as a player in this format.”

Having tasted success in the first two seasons at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the star-studded tournament was moved to Abu Dhabi in 2019.

And Sangakkara believes other countries could soon take a leaf out of the UAE’s book in terms of establishing their own T10 leagues.

“I think there are lot of investors, franchise owners, cricket boards looking at this T10 format. There is this opportunity to spread the excitement of cricket into traditionally non-cricket playing countries where you don’t have the heritage of Test cricket or domestic cricket, you know, the finer technical aspect I as a Sri Lankan was brought up on,” said Sangakkara who was the man-of-the-match when Sri Lanka beat India in the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup.

“The world has changed now, you can enjoy more than one format of the game. But whichever country decides to go next in terms of formulating a tournament really need to learn from the tournament in the UAE, understand how it’s been done well and what it can be done better, how to really structure a tournament that has longevity that has very good and long term benefits in terms of developing players, in terms of spreading the game,” he added.

“So, lot of these considerations are being made as we speak. And as I said, the T10 format can be quite attractive. So we will have to wait and see, but I don’t think I can tell you the timeline for that now.”

Meanwhile, Sangakkara condemned the alleged racial abuse hurled at the Indian players during the third Test match between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Some spectators were removed from the stands after India’s Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah complained of racial abuse.

“I did read about what happened with the crowd and the Indian team in the last couple of days,” Sangakkara said.

“Racism in any country in any manner has to be condemned and those responsible should be strongly punished and stern action should be taken against them,” he said.


Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

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