22nd May: Sunrisers v Rajasthan Royals, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Sri Lanka’s unbeaten run in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament finally came to an end at the final hurdle at Lord’s last night, but despite the disappointment of failing to clinch a second major global trophy, Sri Lanka’s captain Kumar Sangakkara said his team could be proud of their efforts and they he hoped the millions of supporters back in Sri Lanka that followed the tournament were proud of their national team’s accomplishment.
“I told the boys that they can be very proud of what they have achieved because reaching a World Cup Final is something to be very proud of,” he said. “We have millions of supporters, tuning in and following us, and even here in England we have really felt the love of the people. As a touring side it has been tremendous, I hope people back home enjoyed watching us, and that we made them proud.”
Prior to the ICC World Twenty20, West Indies Captain Chris Gayle questioned the future of Test cricket, stating that in his view, Twenty20 was the future of the game.
While Sangakkara acknowledged the importance of Twenty20 cricket, he believes that Test cricket is still the ultimate for of the game.
“I believe Twenty20 cricket can enhance Test cricket, because your skills are being tested over a shorter period of time,” he explained. “But I firmly believe that Test cricket is the pinnacle of our sport and it must always be given priority in every sense, particularly scheduling.
“If you score 2000 Twenty20 runs, no one is really going to talk about it, but if you score 10,000 Test runs that is something that will long be talked about and remembered. I would like to see Sri Lanka play 10 to 12 Test Matches a year, and I hope that day comes soon.”
It was quite refreshing to see Sri Lankas skipper embracing all forms of the game and with players at his disposal who can adapt to every form of the game and that are capable of dealing with adversity, his team could well be at the top of the tree in the very near future.