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Agencies
November 17, 2019

Kevin Pietersen was right about player workloads, admits Ashley Giles

Sports

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Agencies
November 17, 2019

WELLINGTON: England’s director of cricket, Ashley Giles, has admitted Kevin Pietersen was “quite right” to request time off during his international career, despite the ECB’s resistance to allowing such flexibility at the time.

Pietersen’s desire to play in the IPL while asking for time off from international commitments became a cause of strain with team management towards the end of his ten-year England career. But looking back on the situation now, Giles said he believes it is essential such requests are managed with greater sympathy if England are to avoid further episodes of burnout and mental health problems.

As a result, Giles has suggested players and coaches may be rested and rotated more often in future.

“Kevin was making these points and he was quite right,” Giles told the BBC’s Test Match Special in New Zealand. “I won’t go so far as calling him a visionary, but he was right. He’s not as silly as he looks.

“The game has moved on at a hell of a pace and continues to. There are a lot of pressures out there and we talk about protecting Test cricket, but tournaments are getting shorter and faster and getting more regular and they are real cash cows for the modern player.

“There are other tournaments around, too, like the IPL and we have to be realistic. Guys are going to want to play in them so we have to find time in the schedule for them to take breaks. If that means missing international cricket occasionally then I’m afraid we’re going to have to suck it up.

“Part of our strategy has to be to develop a bigger group of players who are capable of playing at this level, we’re not going to manage otherwise. The same goes for our management. I’d rather have one coach, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have time off and provide chances for others to lead.”

A recent survey by The Cricket Monthly found that some of England’s highest-profile players had the heaviest workloads in world cricket.

Joe Root, England’s Test captain, played more international days than anyone else between October 2018 and September 2019, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler ranked joint fifth.

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