Endorsing Indian skipper M.S. Dhoni’s view about the hectic cricket schedule, former Aussie wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist on Thursday said scheduling is a bigger issue in world cricket, which needs to be sorted out.

“Too much cricket is being played around the world.

Scheduling is a bigger issue in world cricket, they (cricket administrator) need to sort it out,” the 39-year-old cricketer told PTI here.

Dhoni, after leading India to World Cup victory on April 2, had criticised the hectic schedule, saying the crammed calendar this year will drain the players both physically and mentally.

However, Gilchrist, who will be captaining the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) team in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), said that the final option whether or not to play in the IPL rests with the players.

“Having said that (too much cricket is being played), players have an option to play IPL, unless Indian players have been told different. As a foreign player, we are invited and there is no mandatory requirement that you have to play,” Gilchrist said.

A veteran of 287 ODIs, Gilchrist also added that playing for one’s nation should be the pinnacle for any international cricketer.

“Playing for your nation has got to be the ultimate inspiration,” Gilchrist said when asked if the lure of instant money and fame can at times get too overwhelming for a player.

Meanwhile, KXIP have had an ordinary run so far, barring in the first edition of the IPL when they made it to the semifinals and the newly appointed captain Gilchrist said the team was looking forward to making an impact this season.

“I believe what has happened in the last three years is irrelevant now. It’s the future we are looking forward to,” said Gilchrist, who was a part of the Deccan Chargers outfit in the previous three seasons and had also led them to victory in the IPL II in South Africa.

KXIP comprises of 23 members — with seven international, four India international players and 12 domestic players.

And while Gilchrist is all set to take over the reigns from Yuvraj Singh and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, KXIP will also see a new coach in former Australian allrounder Michael Bevan this season.

The squad also includes David Hussey, Ryan Harris, Nathan Rimmington, Dmitri Mascarenhas, Shaun Marsh and the Indian International players — Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Abhishek Nayar.

When asked if IPL can spur the same frenzy among fans as seen in the recently-concluded World Cup, Gilchrist said cricket never ceases in this cricket-crazy nation.

“Fans are hungry for more and they want to see more of cricket. Indian victory in the World Cup has further raised the anticipation of fans, who are eagerly waiting for the IPL,” he said.

Gilchrist, who does not feel it would be right to call his team underdogs, said his players were ready for the challenge and the absence of iconic players in the side was not a matter of concern.

“In our team, we are all equals,” he said, adding that the presence of big stars in a team does not necessarily make it the favourite automatically.

Keywords: IPL 2011


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