Ponting demands decent break for players, fears injuries can hurt Ashes quest

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Melbourne, Feb 22 (ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has called for better player management, given the frantic schedule over the past two years in order to avoid long term injuries to cricketers.

He fears that injuries may have a significant bearing on Australia regaining the Ashes next summer.

Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brett Lee, Stuart Clark and one-day specialist Nathan Bracken are all making slow recoveries.

"We need to continually get better with the resting and rotation of our fast bowlers in particular. We've got to manage our whole group better, I think," The Australian quoted Ponting, as saying.

"We talk about it every year and we have got better at it but to give a guy one match off in the middle of a one-day series isn't really a break at all.

"When you're playing as much as we are these days, you need longer than that, just to get your body right. The biggest challenge for a batsman is trying to stay mentally fresh each summer," he said.

"If you look at the program we've had over the past two years, it's no coincidence that we've got four fast bowlers from the Ashes tour on the sidelines with long-term injuries. Every single player in our squad is carrying some sort of significant niggle," Ponting said.

"It's very rare you go into a game these days without a niggle or feeling 100 per cent fresh. That makes our achievements even better over the last year or so," he added.

Ponting believes the team has developed enormously since losing the Ashes during the middle of last year, winning almost every one-day match it has played and claiming five wins and a draw from six Tests this summer. (ANI)

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