Bangalore, May 8: Deccan Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara has defended Indian Premier League (IPL) but said Test cricket is ultimate and youngsters should aspire to play the longer format of the game.
Recently, former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga had come down heavily on IPL and said the Twenty20 tournament would produce “butchers" instead of classical batsmen.
When Sangakkara's views were sought on Ranatunga's statement, he told Dubai daily “Gulf News" that IPL is a great platform for youngsters to learn from international stars.
“The IPL by itself is a great tournament, it's quite a spectacle. It has given cricket a shot in the arm apart from opening up the market for the game. You cannot fault it ... but the only issue is that players, coaches involved in it must be responsible for their views on Test cricket as any player of this generation has to be nurtured through Test cricket first and not the other way round," Sangakkara told “Gulf News."
He continued: “The IPL is an opportunity for Indian players to be able to play with the best in the world and learn from them. These players, however, have to be very smart about it — they need to look at the overseas cricketers and how they balance it and realise the importance of technique to be able to play in all forms of the game."
The left-hander, know as a shrewd tactician, felt coaches and teams in India had a great responsibility to remind players of the importance of Test cricket.
“Coaches and teams in India have a great responsibility to remind their players that in order to remembered as good cricketers, one has to perform in Test cricket and not the other way round. Who knows how long everything lasts, so for anyone worth their salt should aspire to play Test cricket."