However, the Sri Lankan great stressed that the newly introduced version shouldn’t be played at the cost of other formats – Test, ODI and T20. “T10 can help in spreading the game in non-cricket playing countries, where there is no heritage. But, the only thing is that we should be careful with it,” Sangakkara, mentor of Team Abu Dhabi in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, told sports scribes during a virtual interaction on Monday.
“The world has changed and cricket is for everyone. It is wonderful to see the sport grow through these formats,” added the 43-year-old. At present, T10 is being practised predominantly in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – an associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) – and not in the traditional pockets.
However, players from ICC’s full members are actively participating in the shortest format of the game. 2014 T20 World Cup winner Sangakkara said that a number of factors would have to be taken into account before expanding T10’s market.
“I think that a lot of investors, potential franchise owners and cricket boards are looking at the T10 format. T20 has had a big push to be included at the Olympic Games. Would the organiser prefer a condensed version like T10? Will all the home boards accept T10 and place it under or alongside T20 cricket? We will also have to look at the appetite of the public. All these things go into the final decision-making process,” he explained.
For the second season of the Abu Dhabi T10 – which is scheduled at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium between January 28 and February 6 – Sangakkara will don the hat of a mentor for a star-studded unit. Team Abu Dhabi boasts of big names such as West Indian Chris Gayle, Alex Hales of England and South African Chris Morris.
Asked about his role, the former Sri Lanka captain replied: “It is about making players understand that there is no reward without risk. The players need to have an open and creative mind from ball one to do well in T10 cricket. In Abu Dhabi T10, you have seasoned campaigners as well as youngsters. Different players bring different aspects, abilities and perspectives. So, I will have to balance them in the final combination.”