London, Sep 20 (IANS) Former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent believes that the schedule for England mens team is becoming relentless. She also said that the cancellation of fifth Test at Manchester and very little room to re-schedule it next year shows how tight the cricketing calender is right now.
“The schedule is becoming relentless. If you look at England’s commitments over the next year, after the Twenty20 World Cup in October and November there’s the Ashes, a five-match T20 series followed by three Tests in West Indies, which end just after the next IPL season starts,” wrote Ebony for The Guardian on Monday.
“Within 10 days of that tournament ending in late May the English international summer, in which New Zealand, India and South Africa are all scheduled to visit, starts with the first Test against the Kiwis at Lord’s. That’s 14 Tests, six ODIs, 11 T20s and a T20 World Cup, a minimum of 92 scheduled days’ play even if England don’t make it out of the group stage in Dubai or go on their pre-World Cup trip to Pakistan; and at the end of it there is another T20 World Cup, this time in Australia in October and November 2022,” added Ebony.
“Even without quarantines and bio-secure bubbles it feels like things are coming to a crunch, but with them it is practically impossible. The unravelling of the final Test against India, the speed with which India’s players fled the country afterwards, and the fact that there is minimal room to reschedule the game next year all show how tight things are.”
The 37-year-old cricket commentator has urged the cricketing bodies in the world to search for solutions to maintain the workload of cricketers. “It is important for governing bodies to start to find solutions. The sport has reached a point where the demands on top players are far beyond those faced by previous generations, and players are no longer afraid of forcing their way out of commitments they feel are unsustainable for them.”
“Gone are the days when if you were chosen to tour, you toured. In the distant past a trip to Australia might take months – just getting there would take weeks – but families were not considered and mental health was ignored,” concluded Ebony.