ICC should give it a rest

November 30, 2011

The thought of players resting from international cricket is something I cannot fathom. MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have been left out of the current five ODI matches against the West Indies. If I were Duncan Fletcher, the coach of India, I would be doing exactly the same thing. India’s captain MS Dhoni has not had a break from international cricket for 8 months.

India have a gruelling upcoming tour to Australia starting in December, and Fletcher rightly wants his best players peaking mentally and physically. Looking a drained character, Dhoni himself has come out and said how much he is looking forward to his short amount of time on the side-lines.

The point I’m trying to make is that the ICC have got their scheduling of international cricket all wrong if this is happening. There is no way that MS Dhoni should be missing international matches as India’s captain. The same could be said for Andrew Strauss who missed England’s tour to Bangladesh last year. However, the ICC are giving international teams no alternative but to give their players leave. England make sure over the calendar year that if players are playing in all forms of the game, they are given specific time off during international matches.

By bringing the volume of desperately boring ODI matches down, you are going to increase the quality of cricket and more importantly, not short change the public. With Dhoni and Tendulkar missing these matches, the value of the ticket has decreased. And yet nothing would suggest this in the actual price that fans are paying through the turnstiles.

The best international cricket we have seen all year was the recent Test series between South Africa and Australia. And yet this was all over in a flash after just two matches. Where is the sense in this? They have extended one sided one-day series, and yet, the highest quality of cricket is dismissed in a couple of weeks.

International cricket is the pinnacle of the game, and is something that both players and fans should crave. Currently the matches are coming so thick and fast, that fans either don’t know that there on, or are just sick of it. And what’s worse is that it has even got to the stage where players themselves don’t want to play.

Having international matches where your best players are not featuring is an embarrassment to the sport. It is important that we do not dilute the game and freeze out fans, who can happily change over to the Football with just one click.

The Scoop 30/11/2011

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