Former West Indies captain Brian Lara believes all three versions of international cricket can coexist and benefit from each other.
Lara, speaking to the media following a Ministry of Tourism press conference at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on Tuesday, also believes that the West Indies’ recent victories in Test cricket could be the motivation they need to up their game in the future.
“In the longer version of the game, yes we have had some success, maybe against some of the lesser nations in the world but success is success and I believe that this could be sort of an impetus to do something better in the future but we have to spend some time concentrating on the five-day version of the game,” said the double world record holder.
The West Indies have won their last three Test series and are unbeaten in six straight Tests having defeated New Zealand (2-0), Bangladesh (2-0) and Zimbabwe (2-0).
He noted that while West Indies have tasted success in the Twenty20 version of the game, they should not forget their “heritage” in Test cricket.
“There has been a lot of the other versions of the game: The 50 overs Champions Trophy that was played in England recently; we won the (World) Twenty20 (in Sri Lanka); we just saw the beginning of the CPL (Caribbean Premier League), which was a great success. I am someone who believes that the marriage could take place. All forms of the game could benefit, and I don’t believe we should pay less attention to any version of the game.
“Spectators,” Lara continued, “love the Twenty20 version and that is great, but traditionally our heritage has been our success on the field of Test cricket, taking it right back to the period of the 1950s and 1960s when we were fighting for independence; the 1970s and 1980s when we were really stamping our authority on the world; and unfortunately the period of decline.”