Last week was another week when there was actually no international cricket. These weeks are far and few between when there is no international cricket being played somewhere in the world.
With only four teams from the IPL in the Champions League, some of the Indian players have got a fair amount of rest and they should be fresh for the Australia one-day series that begins soon after the Champions League finishes. Most others have been kept in match trim by the selectors by including them in the challenger series teams.
The electric speed with which modern sport moves nowadays means that players really cannot afford to have a long break because then there is much catching up to do as others may have moved ahead and thus have a head start.
Even champions find that as they struggle to get to the level before they took a break. Take a look at the tennis scene where players of the class of Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe struggled to get back to winning ways after taking time off for a breather. They simply could not get the consistency they had before they took time off to rest.
What happens in the interim is that players who have been reaching the semifinals or even the finals and lose, now start to win titles in the absence of these super stars and thus gain in confidence. More crucially they realise what it takes to win and are thus better prepared when they meet the legends the next time around.
The international news is that England’s tour party to Australia has been announced and once again it is pretty much a 'rest of the world' squad,
what with people who learnt their craft in other countries having opted to play for England on the basis of having some relative from the distant past who was English.
There is a mistaken belief that it is the attractiveness of England’s cricket that gives them the incentive to ditch their countries of birth and where they grew up learning the game. The fact is that most, if not all of them, realise that they are not good enough to play for their own country and so go to England ostensibly to gain more match experience and quickly find out that it would be a lot easier to get in the England team than back home.
Australia and England will play back to back Ashes because the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is when England would have otherwise gone to Australia, and since the Ashes is the icon series they did not want to have two big events in the same season. That makes a lot of commercial sense, and you thought that it was only BCCI that was commercially inclined. Guess we all learn all the time.
Professional Management Group