John Buchanan questions Australia's plan to rest players between games
Melbourne, Feb 9 (IANS) Two-time World Cup-winning coach John Buchanan on Monday questioned Australia's decision to allow players to return home between matches, saying it can affect the team's camaraderie.
While visiting nations will be in camp for the duration of their World Cup campaigns, Australia's team management have scheduled two two-day windows for players to leave, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The first will come after the opening match of the tournament with Australia having a seven-day gap before their second match against Bangladesh in Brisbane.
The team will then stay together in the build-up to matches in Brisbane (Bangladesh), Auckland (New Zealand), Perth (Afghanistan) and Sydney (Sri Lanka) before another break heading into the final group game, against Scotland in Hobart.
Players will also have other days off in between matches, though will be required to remain in camp.
"Some would go fishing, hunting, some would laze around the pool. In terms of camaraderie that could be affected if players choose to go to home ports. All that does is add to a heck of a lot of travel," Buchanan, who guided the team to 2003 and 2007 title triumphs, said.
"The getting away part is so you can freshen up and not be engaged in anything that may drain you, mentally or physically, and get you away from cricket."
The time away is designed to give players a chance to unwind and ensure they stay fresh for the big games, but Buchanan said being at home can be a double-edged sword as there are extra distractions.
"If you head back to your family, you head back to friends and everybody wants to know about the World Cup. It will be an interesting scenario and decision for the team to make because some will be in home ports when there is that break," he said.
"The approach is to be able to switch on when you need to and switch off when you don't, trying to ensure your players are physically rested."
Buchanan listed Australia, South Africa and New Zealand as likely semi-finalists in a "reasonably open" tournament but said Pakistan was the sort of team that will become more dangerous the deeper they head into the tournament.