Cricket: T20 can help Test game to thrive – Brian Lara

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The growing popularity of Twenty20 internationals will not harm Test cricket because the two formats can thrive ­together, former West Indies captain Brian Lara has said.

Lara, an ambassador for the Bangladesh T20 league, said in Dhaka: “I believe now with T20 cricket a lot more people are watching the game.

“We are all entertainers. And, if this kind of cricket brings interest to the people, cricketers will be happy to indulge in it.

“Test cricket is still important, so are ODIs [one-day internationals], but T20 should be there too because of the crowd factor,” Lara added.

Lara, who played 131 Tests and 299 one-dayers, never had the chance to play Twenty20 cricket, at which West Indies are the current world champions. But he believes the growing popularity of T20 will help West Indies generate more interest in the game among the younger generation.

“In the Caribbean, we found it difficult to encourage teenagers to take up the game,” said Lara. “We are now launching our own domestic T20 competition. We will try to seek more youngsters to play the game.”