Kumar Sangakkara gives interesting advice to ‘help’ smaller cricket nations

'It’s about money, Sri Lanka needs money to invest in the game,' said the former wicketkeeper

By Web Desk
July 09, 2024
Kumar Sangakkara made 594 international appearances for Sri Lanka. — AFP

Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara gave interesting advice to help smaller cricketing nations so they can compete at the highest level.

Sangakkara, while speaking at World Cricket Connects, an event at Lord’s hosted by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) stated that investment partnering national cricket boards helping the smaller nations would help the latter play at the top level to make the game more interesting and competitive in the future.

Renowned names including players, coaches, broadcasters, franchise owners and administrators were present at the event where discussions were held for the betterment of cricket.

Sangakkara talked about the current condition of Sri Lanka cricket saying that they need money to become a competitive force once again.

“It’s about money, Sri Lanka needs money to invest in the game. How that money comes about, is it going to be ICC handouts, is it going to be the franchise game? How do you become self-sustainable? How do you do it if the market is so small or not as attractive,” the former wicketkeeper said.

“The players have avenues to go beyond Sri Lanka in terms of earning a living and plying their trade because of the franchise landscape.

“Sri Lanka’s place depends on how bilateral cricket continues to exist. Will it exist in the current format? Will it change?

“Will private investment partner the home boards to ensure they are not just skimming the cream off the top but also investing in the grassroots and growing the game? It is incumbent to build the home game and the audience of those products and the consumer base for those products.”

Sangakkara called time on his remarkable career in 2017 after making 594 appearances for Sri Lanka.

“We have a governing body, the ICC, which is not completely independent as it is made up of the 12 home boards who are full members. Then you have private equity and private enterprise investing massively in the game through the IPL and common ownership throughout the franchise game,” the T20 World Cup winner added.

“You have the broadcasters who have a huge insight and idea as to what the next generation of fans want, how they consume the game. They know what new avenues of thinking are needed to make sure the game is sustained financially.

“There are lots of stakeholders who need to play a part in the solution that the game requires and the direction of travel. Having just cricketers or traditional administrators administer the game, is that the right thing? I’m not necessarily sure that it is.

“We need newer ideas, new perspectives, outside perspectives coming in to enhance the thinking in cricket and grow it as we know it can.”