Hadlee, Simpson question concerns about too much cricket

Melbourne: While quite a few contemporary cricketers have time and again expressed their helplessness with regard to the tight international calendar, two former greats -- Bob Simpson and Sir Richard Hadlee – have questioned the concerns about too much cricket.

Two of the game`s finest cricketers, both claimed they benefited from playing constantly.

Former New Zealand legend Hadlee, 60, had a 20-year first-class career involving 342 matches, which included 86 Tests and 115 One-day Internationals.

For six years from 1988 he was the most successful Test bowler in the world, eventually finishing with 431 wickets.

"With Test cricket, domestic first-class cricket and 10 years of county cricket, then One-day Internationals later in my career, I was playing just as much then as the players are today," Hadlee said.

"Playing 100 days of county cricket over six months, it was pretty tough going. But that was the greatest experience for me, county cricket, when you do it six days a week and play in different forms of the game," he was quoted as saying by `The Daily Telegraph`.

Simpson pointed out that during an 18-month period from December 1963, which included the 1964 Ashes tour, Australia played 20 Tests across five different countries, along with numerous first-class and grade matches.

"The players don`t play as much cricket as they used to but they play more internationals. We`ve got to ensure the players are cricket fit, and the only way to do that is with bat and ball basically," Simpson said.

"On that (1964) England tour I scored about 1900 (first-class) runs and bowled about 500 overs," he added.

PTI