Getting scheduling right a priority for the players

 

Ussie Web

ACA Player Liaison Manager Simon Katich has indicated that the importance of the Australian cricket team is dwindling, with the schedule not always allowing for the best players’ top play at the highest level.

The players have pushed for a more balanced structure in recent times, with more context for international tours a priority for the playing group.

Katich told News ltd.  today that he feels the fans have been shortchanged.

"Scheduling issues are having a major impact on everyone involved in the game and putting both players and selectors in unenviable positions,” Katich said.

 “It means the relevance of the Australian team is in jeopardy, especially with the prospect of two different Australian teams playing at the same time in different spots in the world next year.

"You can't blame players for being rested when there is so much cricket being played, but then we end up in situations like we saw in South Africa."

The domestic schedule has also come under scrutiny in recent days, with Josh Hazlewood and Usman Khawaja indicating their disappointment with the short turnaround from the Matador Cup and Sheffield Shield.

Khawaja, who will captain Queensland in the Matador Cup Final on Sunday, thought that both a greater break and an extra Shield game was required before the 1st Test.  

"It would have been nicer ... for us to get a couple of Shield games in before the Test series," Khawaja told AAP yesterday.

"One is nice but two is even better."

"I'm not convinced about the timing (of that one-day tour) ... it was a random time," Khawaja said.

"I found it really bizarre that we played that one-day series before a big Test series. That's how international cricket is going these days. There is no break."

While Josh Hazlewood is pushing to play for New South Wales against Victoria in the Matador Cup Semi Final, but will be required to rest should the Blues make the final on Sunday.

"I'm pretty keen to play on Friday. It's always good to play a semi-final for NSW," Hazlewood told News ltd

"I'm not sure yet. There have been a few chats over the last few days. Obviously now we are definitely through, that will come up in the next 24 hours. I bowled nine overs (2-37 against WA) so I feel pretty good.

"It'll be CA with the final say. Hopefully they listen to my input and how I pull up tomorrow (Thursday) and all those sort of things.

"There's still a decent gap after Friday until the Shield game starts so I'm obviously going to bowl anyway in the nets and get those workloads up for a Shield game first. But any time you do it in a game is always helpful."

Scheduling of domestic and international matches, and giving context to them, remains one of the key issues going into the negotiation of the MOU, set to start in coming weeks.