'Forget fatigue, more is better'
The Cricket Board on Wednesday brushed aside India captain Rahul Dravid's concern over the cramped schedule for the national team by saying the country's tennis players were playing more and Australian and English cricketers did likewise.
"I don't agree with the fatigue factor. We don't play more than our tennis players. Even the Australian and English cricketers play more. We’re playing the same amount of cricket as the past. It's just that we have marketed it better,” BCCI vice president Lalit Modi said.
Modi was reacting to Dravid's remarks in Bangladesh on Tuesday that the schedule was over-crammed.
"Ideally, the timing of the series could have been better. But schedules are crammed, over-crammed if you ask me. I don't know how we are going to fit everything in," the Indian captain had said in Chittagong after the rain-marred drawn first Test against Bangladesh.
But Modi dismissed suggestions that the BCCI was bent upon thrusting meaningless ODIs on the overburdened team. “We are still playing around 100-110 days' of cricket in a year as in the past. The schedule may look a bit skewed in favour of ODIs because of the cycle. We play more ODIs this year but next year will be playing more Tests against Australia and South Africa,” he elaborated.
“The more we play the better it is for the team,” Modi said.
Modi said the Board had decided to have a series against South Africa (on June 26, 29 and July 1 in Ireland) instead of against Australia as it wanted to expose the players to a different team.
“We had played a series against Australia (also involving West Indies) in Malaysia (DLF Cup) and we thought it would be better to play against some other team. We had not committed ourselves to Australia and a lot of countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, want to play against us,” he said.
Modi also disclosed that the BCCI would invite tenders next month for sponsorship of international matches conducted at home as well as domestic cricket. “The process for finding sponsors for all international matches held in India, as well as domestic ties, for the next four years would start next month. We have not shortlisted any sponsors as yet,” he said.