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Too much, says Captain Cool

Never the one to mince words when it comes speaking his mind, MS Dhoni today criticised the hectic cricket schedule, saying the crammed calendar this year will drain the players both physically and mentally. Mahi says

cricket Updated: Apr 07, 2011 14:19 IST

Never the one to mince words when it comes speaking his mind, MS Dhoni today criticised the hectic cricket schedule, saying the crammed calendar this year will drain the players both physically and mentally.

"It does affect the performance of players. The physical aspect you can battle but because of the amount of cricket (you play) at times you find yourself mentally and emotionally quite drained," Dhoni told when asked about the crammed schedule ahead this year.http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/070411/07_04_11-metro-16.jpg

Less than a week after the conclusion of the World Cup that lasted over 40 days, IPL-IV kicks-off on Friday and will last 50 days. After that, India will play series against West Indies, England and Australia later in the year.

"After the IPL, India play West Indies series, we then go straight to England, we come back, if we qualify (in the IPL) you play in the Champions League. Then there is another couple of tournaments before you move to Australia, so it's quite a hectic schedule ahead of us," Dhoni said.

"Even if the demanding schedule may not affect all the players, it will affect quite a few players who have been part of all the cricket we have played for about the past six months," he added.

Dhoni has just before the World Cup spoken against the busy schedule, saying that this has made the players physically and mentally tired. That led to angry reaction from the BCCI who said that players are permitted to take rest whenever they feel tired.

Awe Inspiring
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today said it was a pleasure to hear words of praise from batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar who had said that he was the best captain he has played under.

Dhoni said he was trying to serve the nation like Tendulkar has been doing for years. "I've tried to be honest throughout my career. Whatever responsibility is given on my shoulders, I try to fulfil it to the fullest extent. It's just my pleasure that he enjoys playing with me. I am also serving the nation like him," he told reporters ahead of his IPL side Chennai Super Kings' opening match against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.

The Chennai Super Kings won the tournament last year and also the Champions League Twenty20.

Dhoni paid tribute to outgoing coach Gary Kirsten, saying he has set high benchmarks for the team. "What Gary has done to Indian cricket, I think the benchmark set is really high. When I say really high, (I mean) really high. We'll miss him for sure but I assure you, Gary will miss us more.

"Someday when he decides to come back and coach a new team, he'll miss the Indian cricket team even more. There was a bond between him and the team and we'll definitely miss him," said Dhoni.

Asked about Australian spin legend Shane Warne's reported desire to coach the Indian team, Dhoni said, "I don't know about it. I heard it from the media. But one thing is for sure, whoever wants to come in or comes in, those (Gary's) are big shoes to fill."