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Aust still pushing for new cricket leagues

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016 Melissa Woods

Australia's cricketers are playing less now than they did 10 years ago - and this could be further reduced with work continuing on proposed international one-day and Twenty20 leagues.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the International Cricket Council (ICC) was contemplating a 13-country system where the teams played each other, home and away, in a three-match series over a three-year period.

The two top sides at the end of the three years would then play off in a final.

"That means you play six one-day matches away and six at home every year with a similar structure for T20," Sutherland said on Thursday.

"That's something that would be really beneficial for world cricket, not just for putting those limits in place but making sure there's real context and relevance to every match.

"Under this structure, the Australian cricket team would play less cricket, while others would play more and that's a positive as well."

Further work is being undertaken around scheduling before a full proposal goes in February to the ICC Board.

Sutherland said due to existing scheduling commitments, the proposed competition wouldn't go ahead before the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

Despite recent complaints from former players such as Shane Watson and Simon Katich about over-scheduling, Sutherland said today's national cricketers weren't playing more than their predecessors.

"There actually isn't more international cricket being played by Australian teams - we're actually playing less," he said.

"The average number of days is 80 days of international cricket over the course of the last 10 years and, in the previous 10 years, it's 83."

He admitted the intensity of events, such as the World Cups, had increased, while the introduction of the Indian Premier League meant the international playing schedule was more condensed.

The Cricket Australia boss said the one-day and T20 leagues, as well as a proposed Test championship, would result in a better product for fans across all three forms of the game.

"Absolutely - we've believed for a long time that it is in need of structure and context and that's a driver to value for the fans, who will take a greater interest in it.

"It also allows some certainty about how much cricket's been played and why they're being played."

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