Since early morning on Thursday, Dambulla was abuzz with news of a letter shot by the Indian team management to the Board of Control for Cricket in India bigwigs complaining about excessive cricket being played in all three formats of the game.
A sports channel reported on Wednesday night that the letter requested BCCI secretary, N. Srinivasan, to look into the effect of too much cricket on seven key members of the squad. “They should be dealt with carefully as they are picking up overuse injuries,” the letter, according to the channel, said.
The letter also reportedly requests the BCCI to prune the three-Test home series against New Zealand so that the players get an additional week to prepare for the series in South Africa.
A member of the Indian team management, requesting anonymity, confirmed that they had “communicated” their feelings to the BCCI after a series of breakdowns during the Test series in Sri Lanka.
However, the BCCI denied having received any such letter. “If you have to go by media reports, go ahead. But the BCCI hasn’t received any such letter from anyone in the team,” a senior BCCI official told HT.
While Srinivasan was unavailable for a comment, a source close to him confirmed that, “there is no such letter”. Team manager Ranjib Biswal too denied being in the know of such a letter.
The team management on a tour consists of captain (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), vice-captain (Virender Sehwag), coach (Gary Kirsten) and team manager (Biswal).
Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara admitted that too much cricket does take a toll on the players’ bodies. “We have (played) less cricket than India this year. Our itinerary is a bit more structured, which is good for the players. But the workload is quite high,” Sangakkara said.
“We have to take a decision on how many players we are going to play in a particular format. “We have got to make players understand that if they get injured, there is a scheme in place to look after them so that they don’t feel left out.”