Cricket - It's a funny old game

Cricket - It's a funny old game

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ross Taylor calls For More Breaks In New Zealand’s Increasingly Congested Off-Season

This article first appeared on www.thealternativecricketalmanack.comon the 1st of August 2012.

ANTIGUA – Black Caps captain Ross Taylor has expressed his displeasure at the
 ICC’s schedule which sees New Zealand’s off-season getting alarmingly busy. 
“I like it that my guys are pretty busy not playing much cricket for most of the year, 
but we have to be careful that fatigue and injury don’t set in. We need to make it that 
we have to find room in the calendar for a game or two here or there to keep everyone 
fresh,” said Taylor, chewing on a piece of long grass.

Taylor had previously been very outspoken over the overlap between the 2013 IPL and 
New Zealand’s tour of England stating, “What is the point of having them both at the 
same time? It means the guys only get one break from not playing instead of two. This 
doesn’t help anyone.”

Former New Zealand supremo Daniel Vettori also struggled with cricket encroaching on 
the Black Caps’ off season and said: “We tried all sorts of things to make it work. We had
 a pretty good rotation policy that meant that we kept a close eye on the guys who had 
had really long breaks from international cricket and we gave them a breather by 
putting them in the squad.” This policy is thought to be responsible for the Test 
appearances made by Tim McIntosh and Aaron Redmond.

Cricket historian Dipak Ward-Square says that New Zealand just have to get used to an 
evolving cricketing landscape. “In the beginning, players were involved in lengthy tours 
that broke up their periods of inactivity nicely and this kept fatigue down. Even in more 
recent times New Zealand could rely on playing nearly five Tests a year, so the gaps
 sorted themselves out. Those frantic days are gone however which means the 
off-season is getting worrying long and there are limits to how much the human body 
can take before it needs to do something.”

Other cricket teams are aware of the potential fatigue crisis facing New Zealand. Indian 
skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said “I know the importance of avoiding off season 
injury and tiredness. The guys are aware of the risks, so we always schedule many tours
 just after our one-week off-season. Besides, if we ever find the team has been on a break 
that is worryingly long we just schedule a match with Sri Lanka.”

Dhoni himself was forced by doctors to play ‘as many as several’ consecutive cricket
 games after a dangerously long three-day cricketing absence.

The New Zealand team are currently relaxing in the West Indies enjoying a rare 
cricket tour that actually includes Test cricket. 

This follows a hectic period lasting many months where New Zealand didn’t tour South 
Africa, England or India, and didn’t host Australia, Sri Lanka or Pakistan.

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