Everyone talks about the grueling Indian Premier League (IPL) schedule, or the dreary hours spent in flights and at domestic airport terminals.
But what might surprise you is the fact that Team India has now been Down Under for 115 days, spent an astounding 52 hours jet-setting from one destination to another for the Tests, Tri-series and the World Cup matches, and waited in excess of 42 hours at various terminals in Australia and New Zealand.
The game of cricket is a statisticians’ delight, but does someone do the number-crunching for exasperating schedules of teams, especially Indian cricketers?
The team left India’s shores on November 22 and if they manage to reach the title round, another 15 odd days will get added to the 115 days already spent in Australia and New Zealand, not to mention half-a-dozen more flights and finally the return journey.
No wonder, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, despite winning all six Pool B matches, looked flustered when asked about the schedule.
“Actually, if you check our travel schedule when we were coming to New Zealand (for the second phase of league matches), it wasn’t a great one. As much as we have tried to manage, we couldn’t because of the time we landed in New Zealand...we had (a) bus journey (Auckland to Hamilton). Lot of people had problems adjusting to the change of time and it affected their sleeping pattern,” Dhoni said at a press conference.
The team reached Auckland from Melbourne at midnight on March 8 from where it undertook an hour-and-half bus journey to Hamilton. MSD’s boys were so tired that after their last league assignment against Zimbabwe they stayed put in Auckland for a day – they were simply not in a position for another early journey.
The defending champions have so far travelled to 10 different cities in Australia and New Zealand, and with different time zones even within Australia, it hasn’t been easy.
“Hope to get decent business-class seats so that we are properly rested before our next game!” Dhoni chuckled after the tie against Zimbabwe. Whether Dhoni and Co indeed got business-class seats will only be known at their next press conference.