India can’t play more against UAE to help them: MS Dhoni

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The Indian cricket team already has a cramped round-the-year schedule and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it clear that it’s not his team’s responsibility to play more against countries like UAE in a bid to raise the quality and profile of the game in ICC’s Associate nations.

With ICC reducing the number of nations for the next World Cup to 10, there’s been a raging debate as to how Associates will improve if they don’t play against the Big Boys regularly.

Dhoni was asked if India would be willing to take the bait and help UAE play more against them, his answer was a terse one.

“Not against India. I don’t see even a few days off to play any more cricket than what we play. Our calendar is nine and a half months. We play IPL for two and a half months and also the Champions League T20, and even then we match every other Test playing nation when it comes to the number of Tests and ODIs. I don’t see India playing any more games. We can’t, unless we play two games in one day, which is just not possible,” Dhoni’s answer was laced with sarcasm.

Dhoni then said that when people raise question marks about his team’s fitness, they often forget the amount of cricket played by his team.

“A lot of our players get criticised, and a lot is said about our bowlers are not fit enough, or our cricketers, they get injured. But if you see, it’s the same set of players that play all the formats, Tests, ODIs, T20, then to go back and play Champions League and IPL. So looking at the workload, don’t be surprised if I say that our bowlers are amongst the fittest because of the amount of cricket that they play.