Colombo: Former Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss, who guided Kolkata Knight Riders and Sydney Sixers to title wins in the IPL and Big Bash, on Sunday said that the ICC cannot allow private T20 leagues to mushroom, which can affect the future of Test cricket.
"I am a traditionalist and I would want Test cricket to be number one in the game. I like the thought of [former India coach] Gary Kirsten that T20 cricket should not be played at international level but only to club and domestic levels," Bayliss, who is in charge of Wayamba United in the Sri Lankan Premier League, said on Sunday.
"Test and ODIs are being played at the country level for a long time. But with the T20 leagues becoming very popular, there has to be some way out. You have to be careful," he said in an interaction.
"This is the challenge for the Boards and the ICC to work and resolve the issue. So many T20 leagues are coming up in every country and it can't go out of hand. You have to strike a balance. On one hand you have to bring new fans in cricket field but on the other leagues are coming up at every country," he added.
The Australian feels that world cricket is at an evolving stage as far as the issue of how to deal with too many T20 tournaments is concerned.
"T20 leagues are becoming very popular and you never know the private sponsors may shift to T20 cricket and cut down on ODI cricket in future. It may happen to Test cricket also which is facing competition in terms of spectators turning up. So you never know 30-50 years down the line what will happen. There is no magic wand and international cricket is evolving," he said.
Teenage offie Akila Dananjaya has become the sensation of the SLPL after he made it to the Sri Lankan Twenty20 World Cup squad on the strength of his superb show in the SLPL, but Bayliss does not want to call him a "mystery spinner" as yet.
Dananjaya has not played any competitive cricket outside school fixtures, but after seeing him as a net bowler, Sri Lanka and Wayamba skipper Mahela Jayawardene recommended him to be fast-tracked into the national team.
"I don't want to term him as a 'mystery spinner' [like an Ajantha Mendis or West Indian Sunil Narine] but he is more of a conventional spinner. He has more leg-spinning variation, like the wrong 'un and the flippers. He does not have a carrom ball [like Mendis]. He has a very good head on his shoulders and he is ready to learn.
"It's good for Sri Lankan cricket. It happened in case of Ajantha Mendis also. When I came here [to take charge as coach], Mendis was a net bowler, but after seeing his variations, he was drafted into the team," said Bayliss.
"My advice is that at the international stage, batsmen will try to work out a Dananjaya or a Mendis, but the challenge is that they have to go a step ahead and should not lose confidence," he added.