Oz cricket powerbrokers deny wanting fixtures against India reduced

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Hyderabad, Nov.5 (ANI): Powerbrokers of Cricket Australia (CA) have denied wanting the volume of fixtures against India to be reduced, though they are intent on shaving matches off a cramped international schedule.

Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke, who has been in the subcontinent to watch part of the seven-match series, said the International Cricket Council was attempting to reduce the amount of cricket played.

That included reshuffling the World Cup, Champions Trophy and World Twenty20 tournaments they are contractually bound to until 2015.

Under the ICC's deal with rights-holder ESPN, there will be an ICC event every year until then.

The ICC is presently drafting its Future Tours Program (FTP) for 2013-2020, but players' unions have expressed concern that the schedule does not appear likely to get any less cramped, judging by the early drafts.

"It is not fixed yet as to what's going to happen, that's been one of the hold-ups in releasing the FTP, the ICC events. So, hopefully less will be more, and I'd be surprised if there's an ICC event every year, going forward in 2013-2020," Fox Sports quoted Clark, as saying.

It is well known that Australia must maintain strong relations with the all-powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), due to the close link between Cricket Australia's financial fortunes and those of India.

Since the remarkable 2001 and 2003-04 Test series, the two boards have locked into agreements to drastically increase the number of matches between the countries, with Australia squeezing limited overs tours to India or a neutral venue in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009 and again in 2010, in addition to four-Test series in 2004 (India), 2007-08 (Australia) and late 2008 (India).

In total, India and Australia have played each other in Tests or one day matches, home or away, in seven of the past nine years, but Clarke denied this was an overload.

India are next due to tour Australia in 2011-2012. (ANI)

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