West Indian legend Brian Lara, the 7th highest run-scorer in Test match history, has revealed that he is an advocate for cricket to be played at the Olympics, as he opens up about the shortest format of the game.
Lara played 299 ODIs for the West Indies, but was not around for the introduction of T20Is. The impact that the one-day circuit had on his game, however, has allowed him to contextualise the positive effect that T20s can have on players of this era.
"I had 25 or so (ODI appearances) before my second test match, which helped me with the attacking side of my game. If I was to play cricket in this era, with the advent of T20, I feel it would have the same effect on me where it wouldn't affect my ability to play test cricket but only enhance it allowing me to score faster." said Lara in his Reddit AMA.
Lara even championed the prospect of cricket returning to the Olympics, where it last made an appearance in the 1900 Summer Games in Paris with Great Britain taking home the gold medal.
"The T20 format lasts just 3 hours so I don't see why it can't be included in the Olympics. It was nice to see golf get that opportunity again, it's time for cricket now!" added Lara.
Lara also voiced his support regarding the number of teams competing in both the ICC Cricket World Cup (ODIs) and the ICC World Twenty20.
"The most important thing for the ICC to consider is the growth of the game, where that will happen is in the T20 format. All the countries that are taking to the sport as of late are naturally attracted to T20 format since it's the most exciting. Moving onto the longer formats, you want good quality and intense cricket and only the best teams in the world can offer that." Lara said.
"Therefore, I feel the number of teams in the World T20 being 16 and the number in the ODI World Cup being 10 is just right!"
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