Flintoff to rest easy if ICC reduces workload

Andrew Flintoff may not have believed it this morning, as he ran in to bowl against India in the sweltering heat here, but the International Cricket Council is attempting to reduce the amount of cricket played by the world's top players.

Flintoff is seven weeks into a 19-month period in which, fitness providing, he will get no more than six weeks' rest. At the end of England's tour of India, he can put his feet up for a couple of weeks before the preparations begin for a home Test series against Sri Lanka. Flintoff will then get a fortnight off at the end of the summer, prior to travelling back to India to play in the Champions Trophy, and then on to Australia to compete for the Ashes.

At the end of the VB one-day series in Australia, he will then get a further two weeks at home before leaving for the Caribbean and the World Cup. And at the end of the World Cup, he is straight back into a summer of Test and one-day cricket against India and the West Indies. If he is still standing by the end of it, it will be a minor miracle.

In an attempt to reduce the workload on top players, and in an effort to keep them playing in both forms of the game, the ICC has stretched its future tours programme from a five to a six-year cycle.

The new plan should give players like Flintoff greater periods of rest but it appears that greedy international cricket boards are set to use these gaps to organise further matches. The ICC's desire to hold Twenty20 tournaments in 2007 and 2009 has done nothing to alleviate the excessive demands which are placed on an international cricketer.

"We agreed to stretch out the future tours programme from five to six years to give the boards the ability to manage the amount of cricket they and their players play," said Ehsan Mani, the president of the ICC.

"But what we have found is that boards quickly fill the gaps we created."

In an effort to keep Flintoff fit, England may opt to rest him from at least one of the one-day tournaments they are scheduled to play in the coming year. But which tournament should it be? The VB series next January is crucial to England's preparations for the World Cup, and October's Champions Trophy is an international event where every team is expected to send its strongest team.

England have been drawn in the same group as Australia, India and a qualifying team - probably Sri Lanka or West Indies - at the Champions Trophy. But with the team's overseas one-day record being what it is, they may well get another week off before travelling to Australia. Whoopee.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
health
Sport
A view of today's Spanish papers
football
Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8 in 2005. From left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright
music New album The Endless River set to overtake boyband for most pre-ordered of all-time
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch films his performance as Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
film
News
people

Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London