Melbourne, Nov 25 (UNI) Coach Tim Nielsen has admitted that there is no point fighting commercial realities, which means struggling opener Matthew Hayden will dash to India immediately after his 100th Test to represent Chennai before confronting the world's best pace attack in an important Test series against South Africa.
Three members of the Australian Test squad - Hayden, Michael Hussey and Victorian paceman Peter Siddle - are set to represent Chennai and Victoria in the Champions League Twenty20 tournament wedged between series against New Zealand and South Africa.
Hayden will celebrate his 100th Test against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval from Friday, and his strength and experience remain of immense value to Australia despite a frustrating recent slump that has included three ducks in his past five Tests.
Nielsen acknowledged the risks involved - Hayden returned from the Indian Premier League with an Achilles tendon injury that ruled him out of the subsequent West Indies series - but said it was a reality of the modern game and players would be instructed to stay home only if they were carrying injuries.
''Cricket Australia has endorsed their participation, and that's how it is, that's the way the modern game goes,'' he was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
''We've just got to deal with it like we do every day when we've got players who are a bit sore or a bit tired on the road.
''We can't fight it and we would be silly to fight it. We just need to make sensible decisions about how much training people do around all these games they're playing. It might be a bit like English soccer where they seem to play so much their training regime is more about maintaining their bodies and minds.'' Cricket Australia, which has a 25 per cent stake in the rich, week-long Champions League, shifted the Perth Test to ensure players from Australia and South Africa could represent their domestic Twenty20 teams for a share of the 6 million dollar prize money.
South African captain Graeme Smith will be free to represent Rajasthan and fast bowlers Albie Morkel and Makhaya Ntini can play for Chennai. It means the three-Test series between the teetering number 1 nation and the Proteas, who covet Australia's crown, will be squeezed into three weeks.
''We have to understand it is the changing nature of the game, that this is what is going to happen to ensure the game keeps generating money and keeps getting people involved and kids wanting to watch it,'' Nielsen said.
''From my point of view, the Australian team and international cricket will always be the number 1 commitment, but it's not as simple any more as just saying that means we have our lead-up (games), and everything else is put on the backburner.'' UNI XC CS AB PM1400