Aussie cricket great Mark Taylor has added to the mounting backlash against the packed cricket schedules around the world, describing the situation as almost "unfixable". Australia's Marnus Labuschagne was among those to slam the schedule that saw his side start a T20 series against India just four days after their ODI Cricket World Cup triumph in India.
The Aussie batter said it was "astonishing" and "hard to fathom" that Australia and India were involved in a T20 series that followed so hot on the heels of the World Cup. Labuschagne and seven other members of Australia's triumphant squad arrived home last week to get some much needed rest before preparing for the Test summer.
Others such as Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Adam Zampa, Sean Abbott, Marcus Stoinis and Josh Inglis were all named to take part in the T20 series, despite being part of the World Cup squad that also took part in a white-ball tour of South Africa prior to the tournament. Cricket Australia has already sent over a number of reinforcements to replace members of the Aussie squad, while India captain Suryakumar Yadav is the only member of the home side's squad who also featured in the World Cup.
Despite the fact they are essentially playing an India B side, the Aussies have lost back-to-back matches to start the five-match series, with Smith, Inglis, Stoinis and Abbott the only World Cup squad members to feature in both games. Maxwell and Zampa made their return in the second game, while Head is yet to feature and Taylor says the series has lost much of its significance.
" There's no doubt a bit of a hangover over there, these five T20 matches against India certainly haven't got the same importance I think from anyone's point of view as the World Cup final did have only a week or so ago," he said on 2GB's Wide World of Sports radio. Cameron Green is among the Australian World Cup-winning contingent who have returned home, with the all-rounder admitting this year's jam-packed calendar left him "cooked".
Green was part of Australia's Test squad that took part in a four-match series against India, as well as winning the World Test Championship final against India in England. That was closely followed by an away Ashes series win, before many of Australia's squad then featured in white-ball matches for the country. Green was also one of a number of Aussies who took part in this year's Indian Premier League.
Concerns have frequently been raised about the unrealistic burdens placed on the modern cricket star, due to the taxing nature of the increasingly packed schedules. However, Taylor says he doubts cricket powerbrokers will do anything about it because of the many vested interests from stakeholders across the various formats of the game around the world.
Mark Taylor calls packed cricket schedule 'unfixable'
"I think it's almost unfixable to be totally honest," he said about the current schedules. "There's a lot of different people pulling the games different ways, there's people ... that want to see more Test cricket. Then you've got this new kid on the block (called) T20, you've got leagues springing up everywhere, not just the IPL or the Big Bash here in Australia.
"You've got American leagues, Saudi leagues, Caribbean leagues, Pakistan leagues, there's leagues that are going to spring up all the time and they're very attractive to play. Then you've got a World Cup that only a few weeks ago everyone had written off as unimportant but all of a sudden once we were into it, thought 'hey this is pretty good cricket'. So that's the problem you have.
"You've got three formats of the game which allows you to have so much cricket but it means that at various times, series like this one we're seeing with the T20 will be compromised because it isn't the best playing the best." The current T20 series against India is reminiscent of Australia's three-match ODI series that came straight after England won the T20 World Cup, with crowds as low as 10,406 turning out at the MCG.
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