Ranatunga criticises players skipping Test cricket

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/ranatunga.jpg' class='caption'> The former Sri Lanka captain takes a dig at M.S. Dhoni, saying players did not complain of tiredness while playing in the IPL.

Updated: July 20, 2008 11:39 IST
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In an apparent reference to Indian ODI captain M.S. Dhoni, former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga today came down heavily on players dodging Test cricket to play in cash-rich Twenty20 leagues.

"Some players complain of tiredness due to busy cricketing schedule. Unfortunately, when it comes to IPL they are not tired," Ranatunga said, without mentioning any names.

Dhoni pulled out of the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, citing "fatigue" due to a busy cricket calendar.

Ranatunga, who is currently Sri Lanka cricket's chairman, said players should not ruin Test cricket "for the sake of money".

"It is most important to preserve Test cricket. As far as I am concerned when it comes to Twenty20, it is money making business," he said on the sidelines of a tourism promotion event.

Ranatunga also felt the International Cricket Council (ICC) must prepare a balanced itinerary to address the issue of players' burnout.

"Cricket players should come forward and chalk out a proposal to ICC regarding how many One-Day Internationals (ODI) and Tests should be played in a calender year," he said.

"Based on the proposal, ICC should prepare a balanced itinerary so that there is a equal proportion of both ODI and test cricket in a year," he added.

"As far as I am concerned, a player can play a maximum of 35 ODIs and 15 Test matches a year," Ranatunga said pointing out that Sri Lanka played only four Test matches last year.

Unfortunately, no player had come forward to give his opinion or proposal on how much cricket should be played in a year, he said.

While justifying his idea of introducing balanced itinerary, he said nowadays players could not continue their cricketing career for more than 10 years due to their unbalanced itinerary of playing more ODIs and cricket leagues.

Ranatunga also took note of Sri Lankan cricketers request for rescheduling next year's Test tour of England as its dates clashed with the IPL.

Thirteen top Sri Lankans, including captain Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan, were due to participate in the IPL, which would be held between April and May.

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