Dubai: One has often heard of complaints of burnouts from other sport personalities — but seldom from neither the cricketers nor it’s ardent fans.
Otherwise, how could one account for the sheer number of games the international stars will be playing in the new year. The main focus will be certainly on the 50-over ICC World Cup, to be held in England and Wales, but every country has to wade through many high-intensity battles to reach there.
It’s not India, but their current rivals Australia who will be playing the maximum number of games.
They have a tough build-up to the World Cup and the subsequent Ashes, a series which includes five ODIs and two Twenty20s.
After the current series against India, the current world champions take on Sri Lanka at home before travelling to India in February-March for a limited overs series.
Add the Indian Premier League to spice up the sizzling mix of packed schedule. It is still unknown where the India’s glitzy Twenty20 league will happen as the Indian Parliamentary polls are set to be held in mid-2019.
However, the IPL XII will be held between March 29 and May 19 — starting 15 days after the India-Australia series, which ends on March 13 and concludes 15 days before the World Cup as per the court directives.
All eyes will also be on the return of the deposed Australian skipper Steve Smith, who was slapped with a 12-month ban along with David Warner, for the ‘Sandpapergate.’
Both stars could miss the India series by a whisker unless Cricket Australia decides to alter their verdict.
The World Cup will be a big test for Indian captain Virat Kohli to showcase his captaincy skills on the big stage while retaining his reputation as the best batsman in the world.