IPL ideal preparation for Twenty20 World Cup: Jayawardena

February 9th, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 9 (IANS) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena said Monday that the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) would be an “an ideal opportunity” for international cricketers to prepare for the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Twenty20 World Cup to be held in England in June.

Addressing the media at the launch of the Twenty20 trophy here, Jayawardena said: “IPL has benefited players a lot and has provided opportunities to play as a team with international players who come out with different tactics.”

“The IPL series would be ideal preparation for most of our guys before going for the Twenty20 World Cup tournament a few weeks later.”

The World Cup trophy is now being taken to all the ICC member countries and will be on display at the Premadasa Stadium Tuesday during the Twenty20 international between India and Sri Lanka.

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma said that it was important for India to defend the World Cup title and the team was looking forward to do it once again.

Asked how difficult it was to bowl in a Twenty20 match, Sharma said: “The whole Twenty20 looks like bowling in a batting power play. It is certainly not easy for the bowlers. But we cannot be thinking about it too much. We have to bowl in the right area.”

Jayawardena said that Twenty20 has “created a whole new concept” in modern day cricket and that the Indians were “much more experienced” than Sri Lankans in the shortest form of the game.

“During the last IPL tournament we saw a lot of talent all around India in Twenty20 cricket. But no country plays similar kind of cricket and everybody comes out with different tactics and techniques. Those who are consistent with their tactics at the end of the day prevail, winning tournaments,” said Jayawardena, who plays for the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.

“The batsmen have to be more innovative and the bowlers have to adopt different options at the same time in this form of the game. I think that the skill-level of the international cricketers have been proved through the Twenty20 form. It is much more aggressive. It has influenced one-day matches and a target of 300 or 400 is often reached of late by various teams. It is definitely being beneficial to the game of cricket while creating much more buzz around the world,” he said.

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