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ICC acting chief backs Twenty20

Source - gulf-daily-news.com

International Cricket Council (ICC) acting president Ray Mali said yesterday he did not believe the shorter versions of the game, including Twenty20, had affected the quality of Test matches.

"The shorter version of the game has done a lot for Test cricket. It has improved the game. Now you see teams scoring 360 or 370 in a day," said Mali, who took over after the death of ICC chief Percy Sonn last month.

Mali said the Twenty20 format was hugely popular in his native South Africa and should be given a "fair run" in other nations.

"We believe it will stimulate interest in cricket. Back home in South Africa there was a time when grandpas and grandmas would go to watch cricket matches along with their grandsons," he said.

"The Twenty20 has brought back this interest in the game."

His comments came just a day after Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said the authorities should approach the Twenty20 format with care as the matches were tough on bowlers.

"It's a good vehicle to take cricket to developing nations because it is fast, but I feel we should not rush into things," said Jayawardene, who is leading Asia in the ongoing Afro-Asia series.

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