Home > Features >

Michael Vaughan is right in backing the fan’s case, but players deserve rest after tough series

Michael Vaughan is right in backing the fan’s case, but players deserve rest after tough series

Michael Vaughan was not impressed with the ECB resting five key players for the ODI series against Australia. He wanted the England fans to get back a small refund for the tickets they bought © Getty images

Michael Vaughan recently said that the fans who bought tickets for the upcoming England-Australia One-Day International series should be given a refund as the major England stars would be away. While players deserve a breather after a testing series, the fans throng to the venues with the expectations of watching the stars in action. Nishad Pai Vaidya weighs the arguments on both sides.

It is the star power that generally pulls cricket fans to a stadium; leaving behind their day to day routine and flocking to the ground to watch the proceedings. Although they may have a sense of ‘patriotism’ to support their side, it is the presence of their favourite players that makes a compelling case. Michael Vaughan expressed that the English fans who have bought tickets for the upcoming England-Australia One-Day International (ODI) series should be given a “small refund” as the big names have been given a breather. Does he have a point?

Resting is always a burning issue and sparks debates with arguments on both sides. Whenever a player opts out of a game or two, there is always a section that believes he should have instead been on the ground. The strongest argument is that the certain player “cannot take his spot for granted” and should be there to serve his side. However, little has been said about the fans who attend games with high expectations. In that regard, Vaughan has done well to bring their case forward.

Take the example of India — where people would usually swarm to the stadiums to watch Sachin Tendulkar. During the last few years of his ODI career, he opted out of a few series and inconsequential games. That was of course done to protect him and keep him ready for the 2011 ICC World Cup. At the start of an ODI series, there was always a suspense about him being there and the crowds waited. But, in that case, the public would generally anticipate his absence given the trend. The other big players would be there to hone their skills and take on the tourists. The only time a major chunk of India’s artillery was rested was in late 2010. The major Indian stars sat out of the ODI series against New Zealand and Gautam Gambhir led a relatively under-strength side ahead of a grueling tour to South Africa followed by the 2011 World Cup.

The players do deserve to take a break when they have been on the road for a long time. The rigours of international cricket not only take a toll on their body but also the mind. Sometimes, breaks are also taken in order to recharge ones batteries for a bigger assignment. More often than not, players unwind towards the end of a season as the preceding months would have tested them tremendously. An Ashes series in particular — where there is a lot at stake — can be very taxing when compared to other duels. Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann would welcome this away time.

But, the fan would certainly be disappointed. Usually, a player or two is benched, but this time, as many as five won’t be involved. Instead, the fan would watch Eoin Morgan lead a young side with Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott being the big names. As Vaughan also pointed out, England have no assignments until the Ashes Down Under and the players would get two months away from the game. Keeping the fan in mind, what could have been done is that the players could have been rested on a rotational basis during a series. There are five matches and that gives them ample opportunities to shuffle them around. Vaughan did say that he would only rest Cook and that does make sense. In fact, all of them could have taken turns and played a game or two instead of the whole unit sitting out.

This is always a pretty even handed debate and only personal opinions would push a person to pick a side. International cricket is unforgiving and managing the players is a crucial aspect of team building. Even a MS Dhoni, who has played the most number of games in the recent past, is criticised when he opts out of a fixture. There will always be suggestions to the contrary, but from a fan’s perspective, the management can take a more balanced approach.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 13, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Gros Islet, St Lucia

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali


World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 72 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 13, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 7 wkts

Scotland tour of Ireland, 2014

Sep 12, 2014  at Dublin

Scotland won by 8 wkts


India tour of England 2014: Highlights


Ajmal addresses media after being suspended

West Indies in complete command of 2nd Test against Bangladesh at Gros Islet

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in CLT20 2014 Preview: A pack of world-class players

Saeed Ajmal’s suspension: ICC catches big fish to send strong message on suspect actions

Kolkata Knight Riders in CLT20 2014: Heavyweights who stand an excellent chance of going the distance

Cape Cobras in CLT20 2014 Preview: South African unit high on quality

Bangladesh Bangladesh vs West Indies Bangladesh vs West Indies 2014 Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Lahore Lions vs Mumbai Indians Lahore vs MI MI vs Lahore Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians vs Lahore Lions Southern Express West Indies West Indies vs Bangladesh West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014

CLT20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings get ready for opening game

Shahid Afridi appointed Pakistan’s T20 captain

Sohaib Maqsood could be considered for Pakistan’s T20 captaincy

CLT20 2014: What Mumbai Indians, Lahore Lions need to do to qualify for main draw

Mohammad Yousuf slams PCB’s decision to conduct domestic T20 tournament before ICC World Cup 2015

Perth Scorchers in CLT20 2014 Preview: BBL champions start as underdogs

Jonty Rhodes — what if the famous leap to run-out Inzamam-ul-Haq hadn’t come off

Hansie Cronje — once he was a harmless, carefree prankster

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Lahore Lions’ fate mimics that of Pakistan

CLT20 2014 Qualifier match 5: Lahore Lions vs Southern Express — Key battles

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

635 Posts | 7 Fans

Yuvraj Singh in Anupam Kher show

Dhanush, Siddharth,Sivakarthikeyan applaud Shankar’s I!

Xiaomi Redmi 1S third sale on Flipkart to begin at 2PM today, up to 40,000 units on sale

Bypoll Election Results: Ruling Telugu Desam Party wins Nandigama Assembly bypoll in Andhra Pradesh

Revelead — medicines for mild hypertension may not be needed

Shahid Afridi appointed Pakistan’s T20 captain

Can Assam push BJP’s northeastward thrust?

NGOs pursue education for all

BlackBerry Classic latest photo leak reiterate the return of physical navigation and trackpad

Jonty Rhodes — what if the famous leap to run-out Inzamam-ul-Haq hadn’t come off

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here