Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Buchanan warns Aussie team of emotional, physical problems
Published: Saturday, September 8, 2001, 1:42 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Brisbane: National coach John Buchanan says Australia's cricket team will have to address the emotional and physical stresses that could affect its World Cup defence in 2003.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Australia's top cricketers will hold a pre-season meeting in Melbourne in two weeks, with Buchanan planning to discuss the best ways to manage the emotional strains, which prompted Michael Slater's axing from the Test team last month.Demands on players will only increase in the next 18 months, with just one short break between November and the World Cup in South Africa in February.The schedule includes tours of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Pakistan and a home Ashes series against England, maintaining the physical demands on an ageing team."It's all something that's in need of discussion and we need a general awareness of what the total impact would be," Buchanan said Thursday. "Physically it's hard work for everybody, it's the same mentally and then you look at the emotional side of being away from your family for such a long stretch."And that's when the team is going well. It would be extremely difficult for us if the team wasn't doing that well." Slater's form suffered in the last 12 months, coinciding with a breakup with wife Stephanie.The opening batsman was eventually dropped from the Test team, with selectors admitting Slater's axing was more than an on-field issue. "It's an unfortunate product of what we're talking about," Buchanan said."The life of a professional sportsman isn't that easy and Michael is not the first person, nor will he be the last, to go through tough times." The Australian Test squad will not regroup until the week of the first match against New Zealand, starting at Brisbane's Gabba ground on November 8.