Cricket World Cup 2015: Group stage lasts too long, says Lehmann

Lehmann's side are in the middle of a seven-day gap between their opening pool game against England and their match against Bangladesh

The Australia coach, Darren Lehmann, has criticised the length of the World Cup ahead of his sides’ second group game against Bangladesh tomorrow, which comes a week after the co-hosts’ defeat of England in their first.

Australia’s third group match – against New Zealand in Auckland – is a further week away, with breaks of four days, four days and six days scheduled between their final four games in the preliminary stage.

 

Lehmann’s side are in the middle of a seven-day gap between their opening pool game against England and their match against Bangladesh in Brisbane.

The group phase of the event spans 30 days, although just 42 matches will be played across Australia and New Zealand in that period.

“I think we can condense the tournament a little bit, to be honest,” Lehmann said yesterday. “A week in between is a long time. I’m not sure how they do it with the media rights and all that.”

With captain Michael Clarke set to return and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in fine form, Shane Watson may be at risk of being left out of the Australia line-up.

Lehmann said: “Mitchell Marsh doing really well – that puts pressure not just on Shane Watson but a lot of people. With Michael coming back, if he’s fit he’s going to play, so we’re going to have to make a tough decision.”

Lehmann’s selection will depend on predictions of heavy rain, with a chance Pat Cummins will be included in a four-man pace attack.

Bangladesh, who pulled off a huge shock when they beat Australia in Cardiff 10 years ago, are coming off the back of a win over Afghanistan in Canberra on Wednesday.

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