Tim May hits out at ~~ridiculous schedules~~

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA) President Tim May has lashed out at the ICC for not doing anything to stop India and Australia from playing as many as 21 ODIs after the World Cup, saying the governing body's mute acceptance of such ''ridiculous schedules'' was devaluing the game for the paying public.

''It's getting completely out of control,'' May told The Sydney Morning Hearld.

''We're very seriously worried that a few countries are playing too much cricket. It's our ongoing battle with the ICC. Australia will play India 21 times in the eight months from June this year,'' he added as he expressed concern over the number of games the two sides are scheduled to play.

May said such a packed schedule would do no good to either the players or the spectators, who may lose interest in the clashes because of their frequency.

''From the perspective of players and spectators, it's going to dampen your interest. And it detracts from the commercial value of the product. Vision has been lost about what's important and what is not,'' he said.

Criticising the BCCI and Cricket Australia for squeezing in a three-match ODI series in Ireland in June-July, May said players are the biggest hit by such packed scheduling and they might in future pull out of these events defeating the very purpose for which such tournaments are organised.

Apart from the three one-dayers in Ireland, Australia and India will compete in seven one-dayers in India in October, four Tests in Australia and another seven one-dayers in the tri-series.

''They were already playing each other 18 times and now they've thrown in another three. We're concerned about that. Players have a passion for the game and want to maintain that passion every time they play. But it's becoming harder to play every game as though it's their last,'' he explained.

''No one wants a two-bit product where blokes are only giving 75 per cent because that's all they've got left. Or because they need to pace themselves for more games coming up,'' he added.

May also hit out at the long-drawn schedule of the World Cup, saying the tournament has been dragged to benefit the sponsors and TV rights holders, who want to see the event stretch for as long as possible.

''Our World Cup is too long. Everybody bar the people who sell the TV rights believe we could compress it. The ICC sells the rights for significant amounts of money and obviously the broadcasters want to get their money's worth. We have to develop the game in some countries but there are arguments about whether the World Cup is the place for them,'' he said.


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