Gilchrist~~s calls for rest rejected by Aussie Board

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Cricket Australia (CA) has rejected Adam Gilchrist's suggestions that Aussie players should be rested from the Champions Trophy to prepare for the Ashes challenge, saying that ICC events were the top priority for the country and asserted that the best available team would be sent for the tournament.

''For us, the ICC tournaments are of No.1 importance. We have never won a Champions Trophy and would like to win it and we'll be going with a team that we intend to win it (with),'' CA Operations Manager Michael Brown was quoted by the Sydney Morning herald as saying.

Earlier, Gilchrist joined the debate over player burn-out and expressed concerns over the amount of cricket being played in recent times. The dashing stumper said it would be a good idea to rest players from the Champions Trophy to keep them fresh for the Ashes.

''We have to get our priorities right there,'' Gilchrist said.

''It is important that selectors, administrators, players and whoever else needs to be involved sits down and nuts that out. I am not saying no one goes, or all key players (don't go to the Champions Trophy) but we have to sit down and address it, definitely,'' he suggested.

But his views were rejected by Mr Brown, who said it would not be correct to place one series above the other.

''We are worried about the whole seven months of cricket. The ICC Champions Trophy is clearly important to Cricket Australia. We'll be sending a very good team, the best team available at the time,'' he said.

Mr Brown ruled out the possibility of any ''mass resting'' of the players from the tournament.

''Part of our strategic plan is to lead the world in cricket performance so to entertain the thought that we're going to be mass resting players is not going to happen. What we will do is individually manage every player's workload over the period,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Gilchrist's calls for a break from the championship to be held in India found support from Test great Jeff Thomson, who said captain Ricky Ponting, Gilchrist himself and pace spearhead Brett Lee should be left out of the team for the event.

''There is no need to play Gilly, there is no need to play Punter and there is no need to play Bing. That would be fine because it would give the fringe blokes a go anyway,'' Thomson was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

''If they want to win in the Ashes, they just need to send the next crop of blokes to the Champions Trophy,'' he suggested.

Thomson said the tournament had little importance and even if Australia lost, it would not make any difference to the side.

''In the end, if we don't win the Champions Trophy, who really gives a toss?'' he said.

''For Australia, as long as these other guys are getting a game and learning something, then they are ready to go when they're picked later. What damage does that do? Absolutely none,'' Thomson added.

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