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Player burn-out not a team concern: Sutherland

By Staff
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Sydney, Apr 19 (UNI) Brushing aside criticism that players were being pushed beyond their physical and mental capacity by the gruelling schedules, Cricket Australia (CA) chief James Sutherland today said the issue was more of an individual matter then being a team concern.

''I think it's (cricket schedule) about right,'' Mr Sutherland was quoted as saying in media reports here.

He defended Australia's long schedule this year, which has seen them play three back-to-back series, saying that the itinerary was prepared after consulting the Australian Cricketers Association.

''I'm concerned to read in the newspapers that people do tend to generalise about player workloads. I've always maintained that player workloads is an individual thing, it's not a team thing,'' he said.

''Not all Australian cricketers play Test cricket and one-day cricket, not all Australian cricketers charge in and bowl 30 overs like Brett Lee does,'' he said, referring to the speedster's recent comments that he had run out of steam to carry on.

Mr Sutherland said it was not just about the amount of cricket but also about the timing of the tournaments, which has to be taken into account.

Citing the Aussies' tour of Bangladesh as an example, the CA chief said the basic logic behind having it straight after the tour of South Africa was to free the team as early as possible of their commitments this season so that they could enjoy a long and continuous period of rest.

''I see criticism about it (Bangladesh tour) coming hard off the back of the South African tour. The reality is in consultation with team management and the ACA, it was decided the appropriate course of action would be to go straight from South Africa to Bangladesh,'' he revealed.

''They (the players) wanted to get straight into it, they felt they were in test match mode and they could get home sooner rather than later so people could enjoy a break then,'' he said.

Player burn-out has become a major issue after Federation of International Cricketers Assciation (FICA) President Tim May threatened a players' strike if the amount of cricket being played was not reduced.

UNI XC PM HS1406

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