The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Refs, umpires should curb sledging: Sourav

New Delhi: Sourav Ganguly has called on match officials to control sledging in international cricket.

“The Match Referee and the umpires in the middle should interfere a little more to control sledging,” the Indian captain said on Thursday.

India are likely to face some sledging later this year when they meet Australia in a tri-series at home and travel Down Under for a full-fledged series.

Sourav admitted that too much of international cricket, particularly ODIs, is taking its toll on domestic cricket in India. He said the hectic schedule hardly gives him the chance to watch promising players in action.

“We have been playing a lot of cricket in the last three to four years and it is restricting me from watching players in action at domestic level,” he said.

“After the start of the series against New Zealand, we have a few more series including the one against Australia. We will not have time for domestic matches till April.

“Now we are playing 40 to 45 ODIs in a year which I think is a bit too much. 30 to 35 matches is pretty okay,” he said.

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, considered one of the finest Test players, supported Sourav’s view and favoured downsizing the hectic international schedule. He was here in connection with a TV programme also featuring Sourav.

“There is too much one-day cricket now a days as everyone likes it. No move is being made to cut down the number of matches played every year since we cannot kill the goose that lays the golden egg,” said Boycott. “One-dayers are hurting domestic cricket not only in India but also in England.”

“Ranji Trophy is the breeding ground for Test cricketers in India. The emerging players need to play against the best in the country, who unfortunately find it difficult to get some time for domestic cricket,” Boycott said.

Sunil Gavaskar, who is also taking part in the programme, said the ICC and all national cricket boards should look into the matter.

“During the last ICC meet, the captains had suggested 25 to 30 one-dayers for each team in a year. The ICC and boards do not have the same courage or conviction to implement it,” said Gavaskar.

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