Cricketers can opt out if they are tired, says BCCI

June 29th, 2008 - 8:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) India’s one-day captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni may have clearly spoken out that the gruelling Asia Cup schedule is taking a toll on his team mates, but it has failed to budge the Indian cricket board. After India’s win against Bangladesh Saturday, Dhoni criticised the schedule by saying that his boys were exhausted after playing three matches in four days.

Reacting to Dhoni’s comments, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice president Rajiv Shukla Sunday said the players who need rest should inform the board in advance so that they can be replaced.

Shukla said the schedule of Asia Cup was announced well in advance and players could have opted out, if they needed rest. “If a player wants rest, he can inform the board and we’ll be happy to send replacements. The schedule of Asia Cup was known well in advance.”

“Sachin had informed us well in advance and hence he was not picked,” Shukla told reporters here.

Shukla minced no words in saying that even Indian Premier League (IPL) had tight schedule but the players didn’t complain about it.

“IPL also had back to back matches but everybody played,” he said.

Dhoni had said that the gruelling Asia Cup schedule was taking a toll on the side.

“We have spent 36 hours playing cricket out of the 84 hours we had spent in Karachi. Two teams have to play back to back matches while two have got a day off. It is not easy on the players,” Dhoni said when asked about his team’s sloppy fielding.

India has been playing non-stop cricket since last year and there is no breathing space for the players in the next few months as well.

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