Mayday for schedule

Chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers' Association Tim May believes the newly released international cricket schedule will leave players exhausted, and may see them resort to drugs to play longer.

May has joined a chorus of players who believe too much cricket is trying to be played in too little time, particularly with the advent of Twenty20 cricket, and believes the schedule punishes the world's best cricketers, who play both Tests and one-day internationals.

"The Future Tours Programme is a disaster because it puts no upper limit on the amount of cricket that can be scheduled," May told the Wisden Cricketer Magazine/

"There are five or six guys in the five leading sides in the world who play Tests and ODIs and they are being flogged.

"They are the ones who make the difference between a 10,000 crowd and a sell-out; they are the ones who the broadcasters and commercial partners pay for.

"They are exhausted and they are not going to take much more."

The former Australian spinner warned that if schedules were not lightened, players may resort to drugs in order to recover from what he has labeled a 'play-travel-play-travel-play-fall over' schedule.

"You only have to look at the doping record in baseball to see that recovery, not enhanced power, is the motivation for most drug misuse," he said.

"The more we push our players the more they might look at options."

May believes a playing limit should be employed by the ICC, which will also give extra between matches to help players recover.

"I'm not saying it is about to happen but all the ICC has delivered is a minimum guideline for the amount of cricket.

"There is nothing to stop individual boards arranging extra series on top of that in the FTP. We understand it's already happening. It is a mess."

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