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Sight Screen

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Overkill

First, it was Australia. And now, it is Sri Lanka's turn to feel the heat of cramped schedules -- skipper Marvan Atapattu, here, expressing concern that his players could break down thanks to too much cricket.
Lanka, apparently, will get to play 15 Tests and 42 ODIs over a 12-month span; that number could become 47 ODIs if the mooted series against India in India gets green-lighted.
Some years back, teams like India had complained to the ICC about over-scheduling; the official response then was that there were regulations in place, and that no team would play more than 12 Tests, and 30 (I think 30, or 35, was the mooted figure) ODIs in a season.
So now the merry go round is due another go-round: we are told that the Aussie players association plans to raise the issue at the upcoming ICC general body meet. What's the betting cricket's governing body responds with polite noises, and little else?
Oh, and? Such punishing schedules are the best argument, yet, in favor of a tiered Test system. Less teams, ergo, a saner schedule PLUS sharp-edged contests with promotion and relegation on the line.

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