Cricketers will break down if packed schedule continues, says Australia coach Darren Lehmann

Reuters, Jul, 01 2016

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has urged cricket's governing body to help reduce the workload on players competing in all three forms of the game as he fears the current packed schedule is unsustainable.

As the Indian Premier League (IPL) appears set to capitalise on recent International Cricket Council (ICC) changes to the schedule through a "mini IPL" in September, Lehmann fears such a tournament would further restrict time off for his players.

File Photo of Darren Lehmann. Getty Images

File Photo of Darren Lehmann. Getty Images

In 2015, Australian cricketers who played all three formats spent on average 280 days overseas. Under Cricket Australia (CA) contracts, players are given a six-week break from commitments, which many use to sign lucrative IPL contracts.

Lehmann said that while the financial incentive to play in India was tempting, it often wore players out and the ICC should use a common sense approach to future scheduling so that the toll on bodies was not too high.

"If it keeps going like this, with players playing IPL as well, they are inevitably going to break down," Lehmann told Australian media 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 IPL, it was a "tough conundrum" for national selectors, as they are reluctant to advise players not to take on out-of-contract commitments.

"If you look across a two-year cycle, all of our players have had to come home at some point," he said, while referring to injuries Steve Smith (wrist) and Mitchell Marsh (hamstring) picked up in the most recent IPL season.

Lehmann believes that while players may be primed to perform under matchday stresses, it was the constant travel, variable conditions and lack of adequate rest which was putting them 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.

The ICC is currently considering the introduction of a two-tiered test Championship and a one-day league, which would go some way to lightening the workload.

Published Date: Jul 01, 2016 | Updated Date: Jul 01, 2016

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4493 125
2 South Africa 3395 110
3 England 4097 105
4 Australia 3087 100
5 New Zealand 3114 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 South Africa 5957 119
2 Australia 5505 117
3 India 4717 115
4 England 5645 113
5 New Zealand 5123 111
Rank Team Points Rating
1 New Zealand 1625 125
2 England 1962 123
3 Pakistan 2417 121
4 West Indies 2222 117
5 India 2183 115