Aussies cricketers embrace heavy schedule
Burnout has been dismissed as a concern by Australia's workaholic cricketers with the end of the home summer only the precursor to a 2019 schedule which looms as one of the busiest ever.
The Big Bash finished on Sunday after a season even winning coach Andrew McDonald said was too long. But the second half of the Sheffield Shield season doesn't conclude until the final on March 28 as the cricket calendar stretches in to a seventh month.
And there's no end in sight for Australia's international players with 42 matches on the Cricket Australia schedule from not until the final Ashes Test in September.
That includes two limited overs tours, the first to India which six players who featured in the BBL final flew out for just 12 hours after the game finished.
Then there's games against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, World Cup warm-up games, the World Cup, Australia A games in England, then the five-Test Ashes series and tour games.
Some players, including Australia's one-day player of the year Marcus Stoinis, will also go to the Indian Premier League before the World Cup to add to an already hectic schedule.
Despite mixing his BBL commitments for the Melbourne Stars plus ODI games over the home summer, Stoinis was confident burnout wouldn't be an issue.
"I hope not. I'm enjoying myself and I'm expressing myself and the energy is there," he said.
"That's part and parcel of being a cricketer these days. You play all year and play around the world, and hopefully everything goes OK."
Stoinis said the lure of a maiden Test appearance in the Ashes was enough to keep his spirits up, and to play his best cricket.
"I'm 29 and so bloody passionate about playing for Australia and hopefully one day getting a baggy green. It's a massive honour just to be in the mix," he said.
Test spinner Nathan Lyon could also be World Cup bound after joining the one-day mix this summer.
In past years Lyon, named Test player of the year last week, could find time after the home summer for a break. But a small window in April may be his only opportunity between now and September for the 30-year-old to recharge.
"I look after myself, and we'll get a break whenever we get the opportunity," Lyon said.
"Our careers only last for such a short time, we have to make sure we are enjoying it and making the most of it. I'm pretty happy with the workload."
Glenn Maxwell is adding even more games to his schedule, having signed a county deal with Lancashire where he will play before the World Cup.
The T20 player of the year opted out of going to the IPL this year, sacrificing a million dollar payday, to enhance his World Cup preparations and push his case for an Ashes berth.
Maxwell, who also juggled his captaincy role at the Stars this summer, is physically and mentally prepared.
"I think I have to play 21 one-day games in between now and the start of the World Cup, international games and domestic games for Lancashire," he said.
"But I've got a lot of time to get things right for myself, which is quite refreshing. It's nice to get a big run of it in to a major tournament and there are no excuses."