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Sutherland defends Aussie cricket schedule

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Melissa Woods

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has hit back at scheduling criticism from former Test opener Simon Katich, saying players also need to help themselves.

Katich said this week that a jam-packed calender was affecting the relevance of the Australian team and sending a "bad message" to fans with too many caps handed out.

Early next year Australia's home T20 series against Sri Lanka could clash with the start of a Test series in India, meaning two Australian teams may be playing at the same time.

A consultant to the Australian Cricketers Association, Katich said Australia's recent one-day tour of South Africa, where key bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were rested and the home team won 5-0, was a bad look for the game.

"By sending an understrength team over there it indicated that series was not as important as some other series and that sends a very bad message," Katich told News Corp.

"Scheduling issues are having a major impact on everyone involved in the game and putting both players and selectors in unenviable positions."

Sutherland said on Thursday that scheduling was a balancing act and he hoped that Australia's cricketers could play less international games next year.

"It something that we're trying to address with this program revamp," Sutherland said.

"We will probably play a little less international cricket if we get that right."

But Sutherland said cricketers who chose to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League during their down-time from international duties couldn't complain about the workload.

"It's interesting to hear those comments coming from the Players Association but at the same time players do choose, in a six-week window in the middle of the year when they are technically on holidays, they do choose to play in India in the Indian Premier League," Sutherland said.

"So it's one thing to be criticising us for that but it's another thing ... there's a different side to that coin I guess."

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