Darren Lehmann: ICC intrusion to avoid player burnout

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New Delhi: Australia coach Darren Lehmann has urged cricket's governing body to help reduce the workload on players competing in all three forms of the game as he fears the current packed schedule is unsustainable. Citing injuries to Steve Smith (wrist), Usman Khawaja (hamstring) and Mitchell Marsh (hamstring), Lehmann told The Australian: “If it keeps going like this, with players playing IPL as well, they are inevitably going to break down.

“Hopefully changes will happen at the ICC and then you will see a refined schedule which will be better. “I have seen a mock-up of that with the cricket committee, which will make it a bit easier. It’s getting harder for them to play all forms with the current schedule. If they don’t play IPL they can do it, but that’s a tough conundrum for them.”

"If it keeps going like this, with players playing IPL as well, they are inevitably going to break down," Lehmann told Australian media on Friday. "Hopefully changes will happen at the ICC and then you will see a refined schedule which will be better."

Lehmann said while players often consider setting themselves up for life by playing in the IPL, it was a "tough conundrum" for national selectors, as they are reluctant to advise players not to take on out-of-contract commitments. "If you look across a two-year cycle, all of our players have had to come home at some point," he said, while referring to injuries Steve Smith (wrist) and Mitchell Marsh (hamstring) picked up in the most recent IPL season.

Lehmann believes that while players may be primed to perform under matchday stresses, it was the constant travel, variable conditions and lack of adequate rest which was putting them most at risk. "It's not so much the cricket, it's the travel to these places. You're on the road, you have training and all that stuff," he said. The ICC is currently considering the introduction of a two-tiered test Championship and a one-day league, which would go some way to lightening the workload.

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