Michael Clarke has slammed the timing of Australia's upcoming ODI series against New Zealand, saying he would be surprised if anyone turns up to the games.
The former Australia captain says the matches are merely token and can only be for money.
Michael Clarke says there is only reason Australia’s men’s team is playing the ODI series against New Zealand could be money.Credit:Getty Images
The Aussies will face the Black Caps at the SCG on Friday and Sunday, before the third and final match of the series at Blundstone Arena on March 20, which makes it the latest finish to an international season in Australia outside World Cups since 1979.
Australia coach Justin Langer has voiced his concern about the mental fatigue arising from a packed international schedule in recent days, after his team suffered a 3-0 loss to South Africa in Johannesburg in their ODI series.
The Australian squad returns home from South Africa on Monday and have just days to prepare for New Zealand's visit.
"The truth is we've got some weary boys at the moment, particularly our senior players," Langer said before the Australian squad's departure from South Africa.
"They play so much cricket.
"They went straight from the IPL which was almost a year ago, straight to the World Cup, straight to the Ashes and what's been a golden summer for us until, probably, these last three one-dayers.
"We'll have those discussion in the next few weeks.
"We've probably learned the lessons from that in the past as well when the guys are playing all three forms, and playing IPL … even the best of the best, staying 100 per cent sharp all the time is really hard to do."
Over the next six months, Australia have white-ball tours of New Zealand and England, a Test series in Bangladesh and home fixtures against the Black Caps, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
Clarke says there are too many games of cricket and he can't see the benefit of this series.
"Absolute token games of cricket," he said on Big Sports Breakfast radio.
"To be honest, I can't believe it. I'm a cricket fan through and through, but whoever has made the decision to put these three ODIs on, it's footy season.
"Cricket season is finished. What a great way to finish it with the women winning the World Cup as well.
"I'll be very surprised if anybody turns up to watch those games.
"We're playing way too much. We don't need to. This can only be for money. I'm not even sure who's making money from it. TV rights, how many people are tuning in?"
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