Brearly blames Boards for excessive cricket

Published: Sunday, July 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:Cricket Boards in India and Pakistan are chasing money and they are to be blamed for excessive cricket resulting in players' burnout, said former England captain Mike Brearley.

Considered one of the best captains the game has ever seen, Brearley told The News in Manchester that both BCCI and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are risking their players and it's just because of these two Boards that the calendar has become so crammed.

''I do believe that there is too much cricket being played these days,'' he said.

''Personally, I think that the cricket Boards of India and Pakistan are to be blamed for it. They arrange too many benefit and fund-raising matches here and there in the world and it is their players who are exposed most,'' Brearley said.

Excessive cricket resulting in players' burnout has been a serious issue with the ICC with players' association FICA warning the governing body over it and expressing concern that apart from cutting shorts the careers of the players, it may lead to doping in cricket.

BCCI, on its part, has been maintaining that contrary to perception, they are well within the ICC limit and toeing the Future Tours Programme.

Brearley, however, felt that even if ICC cuts down on the number of cricket tournaments, the lure of moolah would tempt the players to involve in cricket activities.

''If you provide the players with more gaps in the international calendar then they would commit themselves for other cricket activities where they can make money,'' he said.

Brearley, however, was of the view that the England cricketers play less cricket than their predecessors.

''These England cricketers play more Test cricket now but they rarely appear in county games. Previously, it was the other way round,'' he said.

Brearley was of the view that both Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul Haq and his Indian counterpart Rahul Dravid belong to the same league.

''Inzamam has a quite, unassuming manner. He speaks very modestly about himself and his team and that is quite impressive. It seems he's been able to keep a good team spirit going...Pakistan have been playing pretty good cricket in recent times.

''There are many styles of captaincy. You have the extroverts and then you have the quite ones. Then there are captains like Tony Greg who was sort of an exhibitionist. Inzamam is perhaps like (Rahul) Dravid, they are the quite types,'' he said.

On the touring Pakistan team, Brearley said Inzamam's boys were not weak but unlucky.

''You can't be a very strong team if three of your best fast bowlers are out because of injuries. They don't have (Shoaib) Akhtar, (Mohammad) Asif and Naved-ul-Hasan. You cant expect Australia to be a strong team if you take out Glen McGrath, Shane Warne and Brett Lee out of their side,'' he said.

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