CA blames IPL stint for Hayden's injury

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{image-australian cricket_30052008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Sydney, May 30: While the success of the IPL has been mounting with every passing day, the Australians have blamed the Twenty20 tournament for the injuries to their players due to the excessive cricket, highligting opener Matthew Hayden's stint in India.

Although, Hayden played just four matches for Chennai Super Kings in which he scored 189 runs at an average of 63, it was enough to do some damage and effectively stop the opener from fulfilling his contractual obligations to his primary employer, Cricket Australia (CA), a report in 'Herald Sun' said. Hayden did not take part in the first Test against West Indies while the burly opener was ruled out of the remaining Test series as well.

He complained of the injury at the team's pre-tour camp in Brisbane earlier this month, but it's understood the problem is more the result of wear and tear than a sudden setback, reports the Herald Sun.

The newspaper quoted a CA official yesterday as saying, ''cricket isn't just a sport any more.'' ''And who is to say this won't happen again? This could become a major problem,'' he added, referring to Hayden's injury.

Hayden's serious achilles tendon - a long-time issue - flared while playing in the IPL, the report says.

The IPL is a Twenty20 tournament that may have transformed player payments, and be all the rage in India, but one that very few people are talking about in Australia.

The report further added that Cricket Australia (CA) had little choice but to appease the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and allow its superstars to take part in the IPL - albeit briefly.

The Australian players were eager to take part in the IPL at any cost from the very beginning, though they were to receive only a portion of their bidding prices because of international commitments.

Hayden remains one of the top five CA players, and would earn about one million dollars a year in base payments, match fees and prize money.

Earlier, Aussie coach Tim Nielsen had approved the leading players to take part in an IPL tournament that requires plenty of high-stress activity for a 36-year-old such as Hayden, when batting and on the field.

However, looking at the current circumstances the report says ''it's a move that has backfired badly.'' Last week team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said ''at least half'' the Australian squad had tendon problems.

Meanwhile, CA spokesman Peter Young said the risks of releasing players to the IPL are the same as the once-traditional pilgrimage to England every winter.

''Matthew has had achilles tendinitis for quite a long while and people are used to him packing it with ice.

''If he had stayed home cooling his heels, the medicos say there is still a chance that he could still have had exactly the same outcome,'' Young said.

UNI

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