Melbourne: Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke has urged cricket administrators to reduce player workload to safeguard family life for the national team.
Clarke endorsed skipper Ricky Ponting"s claims that cricketers" calendars were too full, an issue which will dominate discussions for the new memorandum of understanding between the players and Cricket Australia.
“I think the major issue with the players at the moment is that because of the amount of cricket that is going - and that includes all forms of the game, Twenty20, Test cricket and one-day cricket, all the different competitions – guys" careers are not going to last as long as they used to," The Courier Mail quoted Clarke, as saying.
“That"s the worrying factor, that the players feel they are playing so much of all forms of the game, plus, yes, we have appearances we need to do, not only for Cricket Australia but you have your own personal sponsors that you have to do appearances for.
“There is not enough time, the boys are saying, there probably is not enough time to spend with family back at home," he said.
“Like I say, I would never complain about our job because we are the lucky ones. We have a fantastic lifestyle, but in saying that, in the next 15 months the guys will be spending 10 or 11 months without seeing their wives and kids," Clarke added.
Clarke said that the demand is certainly not about us wanting more money for less work. “I think it"s just about trying to come up with some sort of plan with Cricket Australia."
Worldwide players' association boss Tim May has long been critical of the crowded international schedule, regularly claiming it will drive overworked players to retire early.
While that remains to be seen, Clarke says it"s unlikely players will help themselves by bypassing lucrative domestic Twenty20 tournaments, such as the Indian Premier League, to free up more time to spend with their families.
“I think at the end of the day the players will continue to play in whatever Premier League there is," Clarke told Sydney radio station 2KY.
The Australian Cricketers' Association is expected to ask for a greater share of overall revenue, which has risen in recent years because of lucrative television deals and the rise of Twenty20 cricket.
But the Australian players have expressed great concern over the number of public and sponsor appearances - up to 22 a year - they have to fulfill under their CA contracts.
Some players, such as Andrew Symonds, would like to cut their own deal with CA, even accepting a cut in pay for less public work, The Courier Mail reported.