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Cricket Australia pushing for a new cricket league

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland opens up about the idea of a 13-country cricket league.

James Sutherland
James Sutherland spoke to ABC about the prospect of a new 13-country cricket league

Australian cricketers were in the news lately for complaining about the tight international schedule and how it was affecting their performances. Though their comments were not greeted well by some of the former Australian players, Cricket Australia has pitched in with its support for a new cricket league that would ensure less number of international matches.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the International Cricket Council (ICC) was working on an idea of a 13-country cricket league system where the teams played each other, home and away, in a three-match series over a period of three years. The top two teams at the end of the series will then face-off against each other in final. "That means you play six one-day matches away and six at home every year with a similar structure for T20," Sutherland was quoted as saying by ABC news on Thursday.

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Sutherland said that the idea would be really beneficial for world cricket as every match will be an important one for the teams and hence creating a sense of competitiveness among the players. The Australian chief further went on to say that, "Under this structure, the Australian cricket team would play less cricket, while others would play more and that's a positive as well. Further work is being undertaken around scheduling before a full proposal goes in February to the ICC Board."

Sutherland lashed out at the comments made by some of the players complaining about the heavy workload. He said that the current team was actually playing less number of matches when compared to the earlier ones.

"There actually isn't more international cricket being played by Australian teams - we're actually playing less. The average number of days is 80 days of international cricket over the course of the last 10 years and, in the previous 10 years, it's 83," he was quoted as saying by ABC news.

Also read: Cricket Australia’s CEO claims Aussies play in IPL during their ‘holidays’

The CA chief said that the board was looking at the opportunity to implement a similar idea in Tests as well. However, he mentioned that the idea won't be a hindrance to some of the historic Test series like the Ashes.

"It's got great history, great tradition but there are other series between countries, countries that we play against as well that could do with that extra context as part of a league structure and we see it as a real positive," he told the ABC news.

The Cricket Australia chief said that the board's proposed idea would definitely attract the crowds and make the game more competitive. He said that the ideal time for implementing the new idea would be somewhere around the 2019 World Cup.

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