Jayawardenes voices Twenty20 concern

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Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene has voiced his concerns over Twenty20 cricket saying the ICC should go slowly in promoting the game because it threatens to "thrash" bowlers.

Twenty20, which reduces cricket matches to 20 overs from the standard 50-over format, demanding more aggressive batting, will be showcased at the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September.

"It is a good vehicle to take cricket to developing nations because it is fast, furious and short and everyone will enjoy it," Jayawardene said. "But I feel we should not rush into things.

"I don't like bowlers getting thrashed and spinners clobbered," he said. "Cricket is all about managing and improving skills."

Jayawardene, who led Sri Lanka to this year's World Cup final and was named Captain of the Year by the ICC in 2006, was speaking at a seminar organised by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).

Meanwhile, South Africa all-rounder Shaun Pollock criticised the ICC's recommendation that a no-ball for bowlers overstepping the crease in one-day cricket be penalised by giving batsmen a free hit off the next delivery.

"The game is already loaded in favour of batsmen," he said. "For a no ball or wide, already there is enough punishment for a bowler. He is penalised with a run and an extra ball."

A free hit would mean the batsman could be dismissed only by being run out. The move should encourage bowlers to reduce the number of extras and help matches finish on time.

The players are in India for the three-game Afro-Asia Cup one-day series, which Asia XI lead 1-0. The last two games will be played in Chennai at the weekend.

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