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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Double Standards...

There was an article in Cricinfo, where there was an announcement by Inzy, Pakistan cricket team captain - saying that the Pakistan think-tank plan to rotate their squad because of the amount of cricket that the team is scheduled to play. The report mentioned:

"We have 75 playing days before the World Cup and the danger of losing some of our players to fatigue and fitness problems is real," Inzamam told Reuters. "That is why we have decided to adopt a rotation policy for the Tests and one-day internationals to preserve our players for the big tournament."

The decision comes in the aftermath of Shahid Afridi's shortlived "retirement" from Test cricket. He was eventually talked out of a hasty decision by his coach, Bob Woolmer, but his reasoning that there was too much international cricket and not enough down-time has clearly struck a chord with the Pakistan management.

If playing test-cricket was "too much" international cricket, what does it show the decision of the same person S H A H I D A F R I D I, who is turning out for Ireland in the English League. In fact, Afridi after completing the matches against the Indians in DLF Cup in Abu Dhabi, has gone over to UK for his league matches.

The article from Belfast Telegraph mentions:

Pakistan's all-rounder Shahid Afridi arrived in Bristol for his Ireland debut yesterday and did not waste a minute as he played a significant part in a dramatic win by Ireland over Gloucestershire in their second South Conference C&G Trophy game.

Coach Adrian Birrell has always said that his boys were capable of winning four of the nine scheduled fixtures in the revamped competition and he now has one in the bag as Afridi and Waringstown's Kyle McCallan skittled Gloucesterhsire for 146, giving Ireland victory by 47 runs.

Things were not looking too bright after Ireland who lost their opening game to Hampshire in Dublin last Sunday, were restricted to 193-9.

But it was more than enough as McCallan put in a brilliant spell of spin bowling taking 3-5 in only four overs while Afridi finished with 3-4 in only eight overs .

Earlier, Afridi contribted 36 off 42 balls before being bowled by Martyn Ball.

So, that brings to the question - what is it that the current international players are trying to put across to ICC? Recently, Speed mentioned in his statement correctly about this very same trend. He had mentioned this in his statement along with others:

"players have to realise it is a two-way street. They cannot, on the one hand, complain of playing too much and then turn round and head off for a lucrative spell of English county cricket when there is a break in the schedule."

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