International cricketers share a better rapport with each other due to the Indian Premier League, as the Twenty20 event has given them the opportunity to know every player, feels Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene. "It has opened doors for harmony among the players. In the IPL, you get to know other foreign players better. We have created better relations as a result of that," he said.
Jayawardene said the concept of the IPL and various Twenty20 leagues across the globe has a lot of potential.
"We have seen that in the IPL, we have seen that in the English counties, we have seen that in the Big Bash, that's the way forward for Twenty20 cricket," he said on the sidelines of a function in Dambulla.
"I think that will evolve quite a bit - just having the Twenty20 World Cup for the national teams - then 50-over cricket and Test matches will take a different path.
"When the IPL came for the first time, everyone was surprised. But in the second and third year you saw how it became such a big thing," Jayawardene said.
Jayawardene, who will play for the Wayamba XI team in the Champions League, said the tournament will grow in stature with time.
"People now understand what the concept is all about, we need to give it some more time and it will improve," he said.
Wayamba is captained by Jehan Mubarak and includes Mahela Jayawardene, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof and Mahela Udawatte.
Speaking on the occasion, Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the Twenty20 version of the game can co-exist alongside Test cricket.
"From the board's point and personal point of view, I see Twenty20 as another product. We have Test cricket, One-Day cricket and Twenty20 cricket," Ranatunga said on Tuesday.
"From the players' point of view they have to prove themselves in all three formats. From the board's point of view, I don't see any harm as far as the players get the right breaks.
"So far, we have been happy and lucky that the players have had the right breaks and participated in the country's tournaments. It is good to have more competitive cricket. If people like it, why not give it to them," Ranatunga said.
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