Broad fires warning to ECB over player burnout

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London, Nov.9 (ANI): England all-rounder Stuart Broad, who jarred a shoulder in the opening match of the tour to South Africa on Friday, has urged the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to take preventive steps to avoid possible player burnout.

"Burnout is a massive issue. England are the only country who play year round. We have to try and manage the workload or players will be finished by the time they are 28 or 29," Broad told The Times before he flew to South Africa.

In the past 12 months, Broad has played international cricket on 80 days - if it had not been for a hamstring strain last December and a knee injury in September it could have been 89 - and spent almost all the remaining days training or traveling to India to England and back to India, on to the Caribbean and then home to play West Indies, Australia and the World Twenty20 before flying to South Africa for the Champions Trophy.

Now he is back in South Africa, hoping to play 27 more days of international cricket before mid- January. There is a tour to Bangladesh, another World Twenty20 in the West Indies and then it all starts again, with a home series against Bangladesh beginning 11 days after the World Twenty20 final.

"Our medical staff are clued on to what is happening but the problem is the schedule. We have to take steps to avoid instances like with Freddie [Flintoff], who could have played a few more years but kept playing until he broke down," he said.

While not going as far as to say that he wants to skip the tour to Bangladesh in February and March, Broad said it would make sense for the ECB to rest key players.

Despite the weariness, Broad still enjoys top-level cricket two years into his England career.

"It is a bit of a treadmill, but you can't ever run out in front of 30,000 people and not find it fun," he said.

"Many of our team have played their best when they have just thought, 'I'm going to enjoy this'," he said.

"When you are relaxed and take it back to basics, you play better. I want the same feelings when I play for England that I had when I walked out for the school under-10s."

To that end, the presence of a livewire in the team such as Graeme Swann is crucial.

The Nottinghamshire bowlers live a mile apart - "I can hear him when I'm at home," Broad claims - and had several entertaining batting partnerships together during last summer's Ashes as well as taking 14 wickets between them in the final Test at the Brit Oval.

"I love batting with him," Broad said. "We try and match each other four for four - he calls it the Notts Way - and when you're smiling, the crowd get behind you."

Broad dislikes the constant comparisons to Flintoff, saying that No 8 is where he wants to bat, but adds: "I've got the ability to make a Test hundred." (ANI)

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