The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (CoA) is all set to address player burnout issue that has been raised by Indian team members, including captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri.
The Indian team is currently playing over 50 games a year over 140 playing days. That will no longer be the case as CoA chairman Vinod Rai has assured that the playing days will be drastically reduced to about 80 days. The changes will be part of the new Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the period of 2019-2023 that will be drafted in the coming days.
The CoA's decision comes after skipper Kohli recently expressed his disappointment over the lack of preparation time for the upcoming, all-important tour to South Africa, starting January 5, 2018. Team India will finish their limited-over series against Sri Lanka at home on December 24 and are expected to fly out of the country as early as December 28.
While the likes of England reached Australia weeks in advance to prepare for the ongoing Ashes series, India will have only a week's time to get used to the conditions in South Africa. Kohli's men are expected to play just one two-day warm-up match before what is expected to be a challenging three-Test series.
"We can't be killing the golden goose for the sake of revenue. That is why the players would be given a detailed presentation during the Delhi Test match [starting December 2], where their opinion will be taken into consideration by the BCCI. We will discuss the FTP with the team," Rai said, as quoted by the Times of India.
He added: "We are taking a 360 degree view of the situation before deciding on the FTP. The burnout of players is a serious issue."
"The fact that the Indian team would have only two days of rest before flying out for the South African series and start playing there without warm-up game shows that something isn't right about the schedule," he said.
According to the report, India is expected to be playing only 32 games a year and the board will try to avoid squeezing in matches between pre-scheduled tours. Notably, the Indian team management is reportedly unhappy with the board, who have had the habit of slotting in short series in between major tours.
Notably, the ongoing series against Sri Lanka and the recently concluded limited-over rubbers against New Zealand was not part of the FTP, but were squeezed in to replace India's home series against Pakistan that never was.
Kohli rested for Sri Lanka ODIs
Meanwhile, captain Kohli has been rested for the upcoming three-match ODi series against Sri Lanka, starting December 10. Rohit Sharma will lead the side, which has quite a few ODI regulars and new faces.