"I think the public has almost overdosed on cricket" - Steve Waugh 

Worcester v Australia - Tour Match
Steve Waugh led Australia to the ODI World Cup in 1999

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has given his thoughts on the recent cricketing schedule that has irked players and led to poor crowds in the stands.

The recently concluded three-match ODI series between Australia and England, which commenced mere days after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2022, received a lot of flak over its scheduling. Australia managed to secure a whitewash over the rivals, but there weren't many fans in the stands to savor the moment.

The final ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground painted a sad picture as the venue was largely empty. Many saw that as a statement on cricket's schedule as well as the viability of the 50-over format.

Speaking on SEN's Saturday Morning Mowers Club show, Steve Waugh said:

“There’s a lot of cricket it’s hard to follow, as a spectator it's very hard to keep up with it. (The) three one-dayers against England seemed a bit insignificant really, I mean what were they playing for? There wasn’t a big crowd, I think the public has almost overdosed on cricket."

Following the culmination of their ODI series against England, the Men in Yellow will now host West Indies for a two-match Test series, which is scheduled to begin on December 4. The Proteas are also scheduled to tour Australia for three Tests at the end of the year.

"It is hard to make a connection because you’re not sure who is playing" - Steve Waugh

The tight schedule has also enforced workload management, leading to a constant change in personnel over the course of a tour. While that allows the team to develop its bench strength, there is a fear that the lack of big names would make fans take a step back.

Noting that it is hard to keep tabs on the team if the playing XI is constantly shuffled, Waugh said:

“You want the special series to be iconic like the Ashes or against England, it’s hard to follow the Australian side because every time they play they have a different team on the field."

Waugh went on:

“For the fans and spectators, it is hard to make a connection because you’re not sure who is playing, I don’t know whether it’s anyone’s fault but you need that consistency in the Australian side."

Australia will tour India in early 2023 after their home season ends. The team will then aim to win their first Ashes series in England since 2002, but not before their players participate in another season of the Indian Premier League.

Do you think cricket's schedule should be shortened a bit in view of the matches played in franchise leagues ? Let us know what you think.

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Edited by Diptanil