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Root Advocates Modifications to England’s Packed Domestic Schedule

Root Advocates Modifications to England’s Packed Domestic Schedule

Joe Root has advocated for changes in the structure of county cricket to prioritize player safety and improve the quality of the games.

With The Hundred now occupying the July-August slot in the summer calendar, the T20 Blast and the County Championship have been squeezed into limited days at the beginning and end of the season, putting significant strain on domestic cricketers.

A survey by the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) revealed that 81% of male players are concerned about the physical strain and injury risks posed by the schedule, while 62% worry about its impact on mental health. Approximately 66% of PCA members believe there is an excessive amount of domestic cricket.

The PCA has criticized the current domestic schedule as “unfit for purpose” and potentially disastrous. Former England captain Root has also shared his views on the necessary changes.

“I am extremely passionate about county cricket, and it is evident that the schedule needs to change for several reasons to benefit English cricket in the long run,” Root stated. “County cricket is the breeding ground for some of the best talent in the game, and this requires world-leading structures to allow players to reach their full potential, benefiting everyone in the game.”

Root advocates for alterations in England’s packed domestic calendar

“We’re trying to elevate the standard of first-class cricket as close to the international game as possible,” he continued. “There’s a large number of players who don’t think the current schedule supports high-level performance. We need to narrow that gap and improve the overall product.”

“Finding a middle ground where players are safer, and the quality of the games is higher is crucial,” Root emphasized. “Having time to recover, prepare, and improve during the season is vital. Establishing minimum standards to protect travel windows and player welfare is essential.”

Daryl Mitchell, the PCA’s chief operating officer, stressed the need for a balanced scheduling approach to ensure player welfare.

“Back-to-back games have increased significantly, mainly for commercial reasons,” Mitchell explained. “We understand that, but there needs to be a balance. Players have reported instances of getting off the team bus, driving home, and forgetting how they got there, almost on autopilot. We want to address this before any serious incidents occur.”

“We’re concerned about player safety, especially when traveling,” Mitchell added. “Our chief executive, Rob, worries about receiving a call in the early hours of the morning about a player who has had an accident on the M1. That’s a real fear. It doesn’t have to be a drastic reduction in the number of games, but we need to create some breathing room.”

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