May for six-year tour programme to reduce burnouts

Published: Thursday, May 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:International players' union boss Tim May plans to lobby the International Cricket Council (ICC) to switch to a six-year world touring program to help reduce the workload on players.

May has resigned as chief executive of the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) to move to Texas with his American wife and their children.

But the former Test off-spinner will continue working as chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA), which works with all player unions across the world.

The ACA and FICA are opposed to heavy scheduling, believing too much international cricket threatened to reduce players' careers and saturate the market.

May said cricket overload was hurting the sport globally, as cricket could not afford to have its superstars sidelined through injury.

This week Indian batting hero Sachin Tendulkar said he would be out for up to four months with a tennis elbow complaint.

"The game doesn't need to have players constantly out injured, especially the sort of high-profile players out injured, and certainly the spectators want to see their favourite cricketers for as long as they can," May said on Thursday.

The ICC is reviewing its scheduling program and has suggested guidelines to avoid over-scheduling by member nations, but May said these were not rigidly followed.

May said FICA would approach the ICC to try and have every Test-playing nation to play every opponent home and away in a set time-frame - extended from five to six years in an attempt to reduce players' workloads.

"FICA will be sitting down with the ICC and making very, very strong submissions about the necessity for quotas - upper limits - of the number of games that any team can play," May said.

Paul Marsh was on Friday announced as May's replacement as the ACA's new chief executive.

Marsh, the son of former Australian wicketkeeper Rod and brother of Tasmanian captain Daniel, will take charge on July 1.

Marsh and May are finalising the details of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)with Cricket Australia (CA), which should be completed next week, the ACA said.

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