Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Too much cricket has led to spectator fatigue: Gilchrist

Former Australian wicket-keeper-batsmen Adam Gilchrist feels so much cricket is being played these days that it has led to a "spectator fatigue."

Gilchrist, who was here Wednesday as an ambassador for University of Wollongong, said that administrators need to look into the problem of hectic scheduling. The prolific batsman also backed Australian skipper Ricky Ponting's disapproval of the timing of the ongoing seven-match series against India.

With the Ashes, Champions Trophy and the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League taking place in a row before the tour to the sub-continent, Ponting was left with an under-prepared team ahead of the first ODI in Vadodara.

Also, Champions League winners New South Wales Blues' Brett Lee, Nathan Hauritz and Doug Bollinger joined the Australian team barely 12 hours before the start of the first ODI.

"I definitely agree with Ponting that it is difficult to get the balance right. Australia have come to India after playing in Champions Trophy and a few of our players also played in the Champions League. It has been a very, very packed schedule from last few weeks for the team and the administrators needs to have a look ito it," Gilchrist said.

"Too much of cricket is being played and it needs to be monitored. Besides injury concerns for the players, there is also a spectator fatigue. It is difficult to keep up with all three variations of the game."

The 38-year old Deccan Chargers' captain said the players need to become smart managers if they want to save themselves from the burnout.

"Nowadays, there are lucrative dollars to be earned. Players have to be smart managers to avoid burnout. But a player must remember that all these benefits come when one performs well for the national team. Ricky Ponting for example has managed things so well. He gave more time to the national team."

On India-Australia rivalry, Gilchrist said the rivalries between the two countries, unlike Ashes or the one-between India-Pakistan, has an indentity of its own.

"India, Australia rivalry is a wonderful thing for cricket. It has caught the imagination of people and has an identity of its own. The debate is to decide when is too much and decide what people want," he said.

Unlike most cynics, the left-hander feels that Test cricket is far from meeting its end.

"I believe majority of cricketers, today, will say that Test cricket is the cricket to play. Test cricket was asked the similiar question when one-day internationals were introduced 30 years ago. Now when people got bored with the ODI as it has become predictable, Twenty20 was born. Twenty20 and ODI will continue to enhance Test cricket."

"If one says Test cricket is dying on the basis of not having packed stadium, then that's not the right way to see it. Even when we are not watching the matches, we are regularly checking the scores updates. So, I don't think there is any threat to Test cricket. Test definitely has had a passive following and love. But the passion for the games still exists," he said.

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