ICC launches new schedule and invites reaction

Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Officials at the International Cricket Council (ICC) called for a "responsible" reaction to the launch of their new six-year Future Tours Programme (FTP) unveiled on its official website.

Responding to concerns about player burnout from an excessive amount of international matches the ICC said the FTP, which was unanimously approved by its executive board at its March meeting in Dubai, "provides the foundation for a balanced schedule of international cricket for ICC Full Members".

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed added: "The drafting of the new FTP was an incredibly complex process involving two years of analysis and 10 drafts.

"But now that process has been completed and approved by our Members it provides them with certainty of scheduling right through until 2012.

"And by publishing that schedule on our website it means everyone can quickly discover their team's future commitments and be able to plan accordingly."

The new FTP covers six years instead of five and the statement added: "Spreading the calendar over six years means each side can fulfill its mandatory minimum requirements of two Tests and three ODIs, home and away, against every other Full Member over that period while still scheduling rest periods for their players.

"At the same time it allows Members to tailor the schedule to suit their own, specific, needs while preserving time in the calendar to accommodate icon series such as The Ashes and India-Pakistan on a four-year cycle."

The ICC said the schedule had been based around guidelines suggesting that the volume of cricket for each team should not exceed 15 Test matches and 30 ODIs in a 12-month period.

However, there are no restrictions on the maximum number of Tests and one-day internationals any board can schedule.

But the FTP did place a limit on the number of international Twenty20 matches that can be played, the first tentaive step towards agred limits on international fixtures.

ICC general manager-cricket, David Richardson, said: "We think the balance that has been struck by this new FTP is about right and we believe that in conjunction with the ICC events it will help ensure that the sport continues to remain popular with players, supporters, broadcasters and sponsors.

"It is now up to our Members to responsibly manage their calendar of international cricket beyond the mandatory commitments of the FTP and ICC events," the former South Africa wicket-keeper added.

Read more about: icc, ftp, player burnout, official website
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