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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Ponting issues burnout warning
Ponting says it is time players' concerns were addressed
Ponting says it is time players' concerns were addressed
World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting says player burnout could damage Australia's chances of future success.

"All the players want to play as much cricket for Australia as they can but at the same time don't want to be worn out, fatigued and have their careers cut a little bit shorter than they might have been," he said.

"That's the biggest fear we've got in the team and we've mentioned that to various people and hopefully people will start listening to us pretty soon."

Australia's cricketers have been playing virtually non-stop since November last year.

They will have a short break following their tour of the West Indies before hosting a two-Test series against Bangladesh in July.

The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) reacted to pressure from players last week by cancelling the team's involvement in a one-day tournament in Morocco later this year.

"We are very conscious of the need for players to now have a break," said ACB chief executive James Sutherland on Thursday.

"We are also conscious of getting the right balance between player workload and the long-term playing programme, particularly for those players who play both forms of the international game."

Australia extended their world record winning streak in one-day internationals to 21 before losing the last three games in succession in the Caribbean.

"It [the schedule] just really got to the guys. We were all a bit tired and you just look at the way we played in those last three games. We were very sloppy," said Ponting.

Ironically, Aussie paceman Jason Gillespie was less enthusiastic about calls for a lighter schedule.

"I don't know if that's the answer," he said.

"I'm a fast bowler, I just go out and bowl and get a game when I can. I've missed a lot of games and when I'm fit I want to play."

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