Botham brushes aside 'burnout' talk

Updated: 11 November 2009 07:40 IST

England cricket great Ian Botham has dismissed talk of "burnout" by members of the current squad as so much hot air.

Botham brushes aside 'burnout' talk


England cricket great Sir Ian Botham has dismissed talk of "burnout" by members of the current squad as so much hot air and advised them instead to concentrate their fire on South Africa.

Botham believes the likes of all-rounder Stuart Broad don't have much of a case when complaining about their workload given current England regulars play hardly any other cricket compared to the county matches in which players of 'Beefy's' generation took part in alongside their international duties.

England are now in South Africa where they play two Twenty20s, five one-day internationals and four Tests, in addition to warm-up games.

The New Year sees England off to Bangladesh before heading to the Caribbean for the World Twenty20.

They then return home for series against Bangladesh and Pakistan.

But Botham, speaking here on Tuesday as he unveiled plans for a 13th charity walk in aid of leukaemia research, said present-day players had little cause for moaning about schedules considering how well they were paid.

"Analyse the days of cricket these boys play in a year as opposed to the guys who used to play county cricket as well as international cricket and went on tours lasting four months.

"If you are worried about burnout in your second year then that's pretty sad," Botham added.

"I suggest you get on and play. Winning teams don't get burnout. This burnout is just a modern word.

"If you don't want to play international cricket, do you want to go back and play county cricket? I doubt it. You have got the best end of the stick and you get well rewarded."

However, Botham - who will be commentating for television on England's tour of South Africa - said authorities had to look at fixture schedules and in particular the growth of international Twenty20s or risk the public becoming turned off from cricket.

"It's a great game for county cricket. It draws in the youngsters. But look at the viewing figures for some of the Twenty20 tournaments and they have plummeted," he said.

"I don't read much into Twenty20s. They shouldn't be played internationally.

"If you watch your favourite fim every day of the week it soon becomes your least favourite film.

"That is the problem. It is just pure greed from the authorities. Nothing else. They are very likely to kill the goose which lays the golden egg. Twenty20 should be played once every four years in a World Cup format."

Broad did take steps to reduce his own workload earlier this year by making himself unavailable for the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) so as to ensure his fitness for the Test series against Australia where his pace bowling proved key in England's Ashes-clinching win at the Oval.

Much will be expected of Broad, the son of former England opener Chris, in South Africa and Botham was concerned England had left out Stephen Harmison, their quickest bowler, from a squad to take on the world's number one-ranked Test side.

But England are set to have South Africa-born batsman Kevin Pietersen back in their ranks following an Achilles injury that sidelined him for most of the Ashes series.

"The tour is a very good acid test for England," Botham said.

"I would have taken Steve Harmison because you need variation and the bowling attack can become a bit stereotyped.

"But the batting doesn't bother me with Pietersen back in the side.

"How often have England had a player ranked number three in the world? Not often. I am excited by it."

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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