ICC wants to carve out window for IPL: FICA


London : The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) has alleged that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is mulling changing the Future Tours Programme (FTP) to carve out a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions League and not cutting down on the hectic international schedule.

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ICC chairman David Morgan had said that the current home and away rule in FTP could be relaxed to save the players from burnout. Currently teams have to play each other twice over a six-year cycle but that could be reduced to once.

FICA, however, warned that players could end up playing more matches in the new FTP schedule drawn from 2012-2020 because of the increase in number Twenty20 games.

“(The) problem with the ICC’s (FTP) model and David Morgan’s contention that the volume of cricket will be decreased is that because windows have been carved out for Champions League and IPL (albeit unofficially for the IPL), international cricket will only be able to be scheduled in 42 of the weeks of the year, rather than 52,” FICA chief executive Tim May was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph Thursday.

“If you assume that the best players in world will play IPL and then aggregate these matches with the proposed international calendar, the players will be playing more days cricket in the period 2012-2020 than they previously did.

FICA reiterated its demand that Test cricket must be given context to survive.

“More is not better, context is vital and the sooner ICC schedule matches according to an agreed context (annual or bi-annual championships) the better the game will be.”

The Indian cricket board has scrapped a scheduled three-Test series against South Africa next year in favour of a seven-match one-day series.

Both boards blamed a scheduling pile-up but sources have indicated the dwindling support for Test cricket in the sub-continent, from fans, sponsors and broadcasters, was behind the move, despite the fact the series would have seen the top two teams in the Test rankings go head-to-head, the report said.

Last month FICA proposed the introduction of a structured Test championship which would prevent boards from changing fixtures at the last minute.