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Teams should play more cricket: ICC

ICC Chief Malcolm Speed points out that only a couple of teams are pushing the limit of matches per year, while others are wanting more action. Special: How much cricket is too much cricket?

india Updated: Jul 09, 2006 06:07 IST

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to launch a comprehensive study of the issue of player burnout, hoping the outcome will prove claims of excessive workload are unfounded.

"Two words that concern some our shareholders are 'burnout' and 'saturation' ... It is time some proper research is undertaken into these two often-raise but little-understood areas," ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said Friday after a Business Forum meeting at Lord's.

Former Australian Test spinner Tim May, now chief of international players' union (FICA), has led the tirade against increasing workload.

May recently said the ever-expanding international calendar might lead to drug abuse by the cricketers.

Speed said the amount of matches played really fell below the demand for it from the public.

"Many of the game's top players are playing fewer cricket matches than their predecessors while international cricket is in greater public and commercial demand than ever," Speed said.

"When the schedules of our members are looked at over the course of the forthcoming six years, only three teams ever come close to reaching the players' recommended upper limit (of 15 Tests and 30 ODIs in a 12-month period) - Australia, England and India," Speed said.

"Of those three, Cricket Australia, whose players are currently on a five-month break, and the England and Wales Cricket Board both have formal agreements with their player groups concerning the volume of cricket they play and both have consistently honoured those agreements.

"And the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which has more cricket scheduled than anyone else, has regularly assured us their schedule has the full support of their player group."

Although the terms of reference of the research project are yet to be determined, it is likely it will compare player workloads over eras, as well as assessing injury trends.

The ICC chief pointed out that only a couple of teams were pushing the limits of matches per year as prescribed in the Future Tours Programme, while others were wanting more action.