The SA20 product now and in future has great potential, says Kumar Sangakkara

February 5, 2024
The Season 2 of the SA20, South Africa’s franchise based domestic T20 league, is recording massive turnout in all six venues

Cape Town, Feb 5 (IANS) The Season 2 of the SA20, South Africa’s franchise based domestic T20 league, is recording massive turnout in all six venues, which makes it a product with great potential now and in future too, says Kumar Sangakkara, chairman of MCC’s World Cricket Committee.

The results in Season 2 have drawn acclaim from Sangakkara, who was in South Africa on Sunday together with a few members of the Committee to witness the action up close. “The effort that Graeme Smith has put in the SA20, not just for this tournament, but to ensure a great cricketing experience for all stakeholders, especially the fans, and then to be able to be a part of what we do in really working towards a sustainable future for cricket, has been brilliant,” Sangakkara said.

“The product ultimately has to be excellent and the SA20 product now and in the future has huge potential. I know the fans love it and enjoy it. They embrace their local sides. They come in numbers to watch it. There are so many children watching. And then, of course, the players, owners and everyone. It’s a great connection. There’s great love and passion here. So, it’s been brilliant,” he said.

In its role as custodians of the game, the MCC World Cricket Committee is actively engaged in ongoing initiatives, working diligently to shape the future of cricket.

Sangakkara, the former Sri Lanka captain, elaborated on the committee’s current efforts, highlighting their commitment to preserving and advancing the sport: “I think it is to continue on the path that we’ve been on. We have a very clear purpose, in terms of being a very influential voice and think tank in cricket and looking at the game from a global perspective.

“Test cricket has always been a point of conversation and deep thought and trying to make it sustainable into the future. The game itself, in terms of all the boards, how to make it a little bit more equitable and the playing field a little bit more level in terms of access to finance.

“Of course, lots of things to do with playing conditions and laws, things to do with the Spirit of Cricket and how it applies now and how it looks in the future. So, we have a very clear purpose in terms of the subject matter we discussed, the way we are informed about it, how we listen to the cricketing world and the stakeholders to really get an idea and a feel for the pulse of the game,” he said.

Sangakkara added: “And we want to keep doing that and really partner institutions like the ICC, governing bodies around the world, the fans, thinkers, to really make a difference and to propose actionable change.”

With franchise cricket taking centre stage, there currently is a strong discourse prevailing in the fraternity on striking the right balance with international cricket.

Sangakkara too weighed in on that debate. “I think that’s true and finding context as well. Of course, balance is not perfect balance because there will never be such a thing. We need to talk about the future tours program, and scheduling and to see how that really looks. It’s not an easy problem to solve, but the real encouraging thing is the game of cricket. If you look at it as a game rather than an individual format, it’s in very, very good health. It’s more popular than ever.

“There’s a lot more money in the game as well. How we are accountable for all of that and how we actually anticipate what is to come; we have solutions in place to enable us to meet those challenges; and those are the things that are going to be key,” he added.


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