Melbourne, Feb 22: Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar Sunday stressed the need to globalise cricket, saying that it would only be possible if smaller teams get a chance to play and improve against the top sides.
"If we want the game to globalise, we need to encourage more and more teams to participate, obviously not at the cost of dropping the standard of play but we need to look at how we can get these guys to raise their standard of playing which is only going to rise when they start playing against the top sides," Tendulkar said when asked about ICC's decision that only 10 countries will play in the next World Cup in England and Wales.
The 41-year-old was answering questions from fans on the internet in a collaboration between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Google+ Hangout.
"I feel even if the top sides send their A teams, India A could tour Zimbabwe, Bangladesh or Ireland, Scotland and all these teams, they need encouragement. For the United Arab Emirates, say Australia A or New Zealand A team can go and play with UAE to get them that encouragement," said Tendulkar, who has scored 34,357 international runs.
"It's important that the top teams play against all these teams as much as possible and not just during the World Cups. You see it has been a history from many World Cups -- these sides have always come up with surprises. I feel there is potential and these guys just need that potential to express their talent."
Tendulkar is the brand ambassador of the ICC World Cup 2015 that is currently being played in Australia and New Zealand.