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Indian players demand less cricket

Fearing burn-out from too much cricket, India's top cricketers have told BCCI to reduce the number of matches they play, Virender Sehwag disclosed.

india Updated: May 07, 2006 15:01 IST

Fearing burn-out from too much cricket, India's top cricketers have told Board of Control for Cricket in India to reduce the number of matches they play, vice-captain Virender Sehwag disclosed on Saturday.

"There is too much cricket... Players need a break because they (may) burn-out from cricket. They need time for fitness also, time to think about their game and to recharge their batteries... If we want to win the World Cup, we need every player to be fit," Sehwag said.

Skipper Rahul Dravid and other senior players, including him, had taken up the matter with the BCCI which had pleaded inability to do anything about it immediately since the current cricket calendar had been fixed long ago, he said.

The 27-year-old dashing batsman spoke candidly about the raging controversy regarding the amount of international cricket, his own recent lean patch with the bat and a wide range of other issues concerning Indian team.

About the burn-out issue, the Board had been understanding and had promised to give the players adequate breaks after the commitments already fixed were fulfilled, he said.

How much rest did the players ideally need? "I think after every series a player should get 20 to 25 days rest. If a player gets 3 to 4 months' break in a year, it is good for players and good for BCCI also", Sehwag said.

His recent poor form, which saw him average just 15 runs in last 9 Test innings and 31 in his last 15 ODIs, is seen by Sehwag as something that happens to international cricketers.

A slump suddenly "comes into your life" and in some ways "I was ready for that", he said, adding "I was just praying to myself that this patch will go quickly but that did not happen".

After his 73 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi days ago in his most recent one-day innings, Sehwag declares with confidence, "I am now pretty confident because I have learnt my lessons". He is grateful for the guidance he received from Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, coach Greg Chappell and others during the lean patch.

Does he worry a lot about his batting or is his approach cavalier? "Of course, I worry about my performance. But I also have so much confidence while I am batting. I just watch the ball and play my shots", he says simply.

Sehwag, actually, has a new approach to his batting. In the wake of his poor form he pledged to himself to try to bat for at least 100 balls. Against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi, he went out with that mindset.

"I wanted to play (at least) 100 balls. I think I played 80 and got 73 runs.

“Now I am changing my goal to play 100 balls in every game. If I do that I will get 80 or 90 runs and the team a good start", he said.