Cricket a dying sport: Lara
Brian Lara believes Twenty20 can help revive what he has called the "dying sport" of cricket and he hopes classical batsmanship can find a place in the shortest format. Lara's experience of playing Twenty20 was limited to a handful of appearances for the Mumbai Champs in the Indian Cricket League in 2007.
He wasn't successful in that competition and finished with a highest score of 15 and an average of 6.20 in a league where big hitters thrived. However, players like Shaun Marsh have shown there is a place for regulation strokeplay in Twenty20 and Lara hopes the format doesn't become over-run by sloggers.
"I believe that at some point in time people are going to understand that they are tactical ways of playing it and then you are going to see the true talent come out." Lara left Test cricket in late 2006 as the record-holder for most runs, although his mark has now been overtaken by Sachin Tendulkar.
Only Courtney Walsh wore the West Indies cap more times in Test than Lara, who said cricket would struggle to draw big crowds in the future without Twenty20.
"Cricket is a dying sport and I believe that Twenty20 is going to be beneficial for many reasons," Lara said. "This new game has brought a different spectator. Not necessarily the right ones I think; the ones that just want to go to the game and don't even know what happens. But at the end of the day, spectators and television is what make sport and I'm very happy and very welcoming of the Twenty20 game."