Melbourne, July 1 (IANS) Australia’s cricket team head coach on Friday said the current, high-intensity international schedule is unsustainable for players who take part in all three formats of the game and urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to do more to cut player workload.
Lehmann’s comments came as the Indian Premier League (IPL) looks set to undermine recent ICC changes to the schedule, in order to maximise profits through a “mini IPL” in September, which will further restrict time off for international cricketers, reports Xinhua.
In 2015, Australian cricketers who played all three formats of the game spent — on average — 280 days overseas. Under Cricket Australia (CA) contracts, the players are given a six-week break from commitments, which many players use to sign IPL contracts.
Lehmann said while the financial incentive to play in India was tempting for many players — particularly those in the state leagues in Australia — it was often wearing them out, leading to poor performance and injuries.
He said he hoped the ICC would use a common sense approach to future scheduling so that the toll on bodies is not too high.
“If it keeps going like this, with players playing IPL as well, they are inevitably going to break down,” Lehmann told News Corp on Friday.
“Hopefully changes will happen at the ICC and then you will see a refined schedule which will be better.”
Lehmann said while players often consider setting themselves up for life by playing in the lucrative IPL, it was a “tough conundrum” for national selectors as they can’t tell players not to take on out-of-contract commitments.
Lehmann said that invariably over a two-year period, a player who is occupied year-round was going to break down.
“If you look across a two-year cycle, all of our players have had to come home at some point,” he said.
Lehmann said while players are conditioned to perform under match day stresses, it was the constant travel, changing conditions and lack of adequate rest which was putting his players most at risk.
“It’s not so much the cricket, it’s the travel to these places. You’re on the road, you have training and all that stuff,” he said.