Make cricket fan-friendly, says Sri Lanka’s captain

July 11, 2010 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s captain Kumar Sangakkara has urged world cricket chiefs to win back fans to Test and one-day games with a balanced international calendar that gives equal opportunities to all teams. Sangakkara said global viewership of the sport had dwindled over the past year, despite a packed schedule of Tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 cricket.

“I am told about 40 percent of viewership has dropped for Tests,” Sangakkara told AFP in an interview. “It has dropped for one-dayers and T20 too.”

According to Sangakkara the rise of Twenty20 cricket has made the one- and five-day games look like the boring siblings of the cricket family.

Sangakkara, 32, welcomed suggestions for jazzing up Test cricket through night games or a world championship, which could attract viewers and sponsors.

“We can’t just ignore the consumers,” he said. “Ultimately its sponsorship that generates revenue for the boards.”

The articulate Sri Lankan skipper called for more Test matches to be fairly distributed in the Future Tours Programme (FTP) that is being prepared by the International Cricket Council to govern cricket from 2012.

He lamented the lack of Test matches for his own team, which would h