Sri Lanka’s Ranatunga urges players not to ignore Tests

July 16, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s legendary former captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Wednesday urged players to preserve Test cricket in the face of the challenge posed by the lucrative Twenty20 format. Captains of India and Sri Lanka, who begin a three-Test series here next week, endorsed Ranatunga’s comments.

“As cricketers, the ultimate challenge for most of us is Test cricket. Twenty20 is a different challenge, so is one-day cricket. Test cricket is where the cricketers are really tested,” said Jayawardene.

Anil Kumble of India said Test cricket would always be part of the game because players valued it more than any other form.

“Personally, I remember most of my milestones achieved in Test matches. The players feel privileged to be a part of Test cricket,” said Kumble, only the second bowler to bag 10 wickets in a Test innings after Englishman Jim Laker. Ranatunga, who led his country to their only World Cup title in 1996, also said the players needed to focus more on Tests.

“You need Twenty20 to get more money, but ultimately you have to realise that Test cricket is the major thing,” said Ranatunga, who is also the chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket.

“It’s very important to pre