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Use Twenty20s for Test cricket's survival - Ranatunga

Arjuna Ranatunga, the former Sri Lankan captain and interim chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket, has said that money brought in by Twenty20s should be used for the benefit of Test cricket, while criticising players for complaining about heavy schedules only when it had nothing to do with the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"Twenty20 brings in money and is business. That money should be used for Test cricket's survival," Ranatunga told the Hindu, before switching to the issue of player fatigue. "Players speak about the heavy schedule. But the moment they talk about the IPL all their fatigue disappears."

But he was concerned over a reduced career span for international cricketers. "It is hard to see a cricketer who begins his international career now playing for more than ten years," he said. "We need to strike a proper balance between Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 cricket. Cutting down on the ODIs alone is not the answer."

Ranatunga, who played 93 Tests and 269 ODIs during his 18-year career, felt that playing for the country should be given precedence. "I cherished playing for the country. It was the greatest honour for me," he said. "I am happy I retired during the period I did. I agree that the cricketers need the money, but country should always come first."

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan board is in discussions with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reschedule a tour next after its players who had signed with the IPL expressed reservations about making the trip since it clashed with the event.