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Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Saturday, 5 February 2011

Strauss urges one-day switch for future tours

Andrew Strauss
Strauss wants a reduction in the number of 50-over matches on tours

England captain Andrew Strauss has backed calls for the restructuring of future tours so one-day matches are played before Test series.

England end their tour of Australia in Perth on Sunday trailing 5-1 in the one-day series with interest waning a month after their Ashes triumph.

And Strauss says playing the shorter format first ensures enthusiasm is maintained for the tour's entirety.

He said: "Wherever possible I think that's a better way of doing it."

Strauss admitted that playing one-day internationals after a long Test series can take their toll on the squad.

"I've been involved in a lot of tours where the one-dayers at the end have been hard work,' he said.

"Not just for us but the other teams as well. In some ways it's quite a good way to whet the appetite for the five-day matches coming up.

"That's something the administrators can look at and I think it makes for better cricket personally."

The limited overs series was played before the Tests in the 2005 Ashes summer, when England were able to use the shorter format to inspire confidence for their historic success.

"I think that worked pretty well in 2005," said Strauss, who also called for a reduction in the number of 50-over games.

"I personally think that five one-dayers is enough, but there are a lot of other considerations to take into account.

"The administrators have to think about the future of the game and funding the various initiatives that they have. It's always a difficult one to answer."

Strauss's call comes on the back of England coach Andy Flower's criticism of the length of the three-and-a-half-month tour Down Under and demand for more input into the team's schedule in the future with his side decimated by injuries.

"Without a doubt the length of the tour is a reason for the injuries," he said.

"It would be quite sensible to look at how these tours are set up. Ideally the coach's thoughts should be sought."

Strauss agreed with Flower's call for greater input in planning itineraries, but he did not think it was a workable scenario.

"Ideally we would have an input, but the schedules are in place for four or five years into the future," he said.

"I think we've come to the realisation that we're not going to have a lot of say on it.

"That's the reality. All we can do is manage our resources as well as possible and that's where some sort of rotation system, resting players now and again is vitally important."

On Thursday, Paul Collingwood became the fifth England player to fly home after suffering a back spasm during the sixth one-day international in Sydney on Wednesday.

Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring), Chris Tremlett (side), Graeme Swann (knee/back) and Tim Bresnan (calf) were earlier casualties of the tour.

That leaves Flower with a depleted squad to choose from ahead of Sunday's match, which carries little significance, as Australia have already won the series.

"We've been here over three months now and with the intensity at which the guys play their cricket, and with the intensity that we demand in training it is no surprise that people will pick up injuries and break down at the end of a long, hard tour," added Flower.

Andy Flower
Flower took over from Peter Moores as full-time England coach in 2009

The length of the one-day series has left England with just a three-day turnaround before they fly to the sub-continent on 12 February for the World Cup, which starts a week later.

Asked how much input the coaching team have in the itinerary, Flower stated: "Very little say. Ideally the coach's thoughts should be sought, but in most instances these fixture lists and itineraries are in place way before any information is sought from the coach.

"It would be quite sensible to look at how these tours are set up, especially this close to a World Cup, however, these are the schedules that we are given and we will deal with them as well as we can.'

Flower is taking heart from England's batting display in Sydney, when they posted 333-6 - their record score against Australia.

And although Australia stunned the tourists by chasing down the runs, Flower was happy with the resolve of his injury-ravaged side.

"I thought our guys fought incredibly hard in that last game in the heat in Sydney," he added.

"It was a great game of cricket. There were some sore bodies out there; people limping on and off the field, but they gave everything they had in defending that 333.

"Unfortunately we didn't win that game but we will be doing the same here in Perth - going to win it."

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see also
England tour ends in heavy defeat
06 Feb 11 |  England
Strauss upbeat ahead of World Cup
02 Feb 11 |  England
Aussie run chase shocks England
02 Feb 11 |  England
England call up Plunkett as cover
31 Jan 11 |  England
Shahzad and Tremlett to fly home
02 Feb 11 |  England
Strauss angry after England slump
30 Jan 11 |  England
England collapse to series defeat
30 Jan 11 |  England
Pietersen buoyed despite injuries
29 Jan 11 |  England
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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