New Delhi:The ICC is concerned about the increasing volume of cricket but its CEO Haroon Lorgat says there is hardly anything the governing body can do on the matter if individual boards decide to squeeze in more and more matches in their bilateral series.
Lorgat said the collective responsibility of managing the volume of cricket rested with the ICC, the member Boards and the players and finding the right balance was a challenge.
"It's true that players are playing more cricket these days and it is also a fair statement that we need to be concerned about the volume of cricket and that responsibility rests with all of us, the ICC, the member Boards as well as the players themselves," Lorgat told PTI in an interview.
"The administrators must be conscious of scheduling. For me it's a collective responsibility because everybody has got a hand in managing the volume. The countries bilaterally arrange series, they could arrange 10, 5 or 3 ODIs plus 5 Test matches, they can congest it. There is nothing that the ICC can do about it" he pointed out.
He said it was necessary to ensure that a balance was maintained between all the three formats. "We believe that all three are viable but in the scheduling we must ensure that we retain balance between the formats", he said.
Asked whether the world cricket's governing body was also worried by the recent trend of players putting the lucrative Indian Premier League before national commitments, Lorgat said that such a perception was "not entirely true" "There are quite a number of players who are seeking to ensure that they are in their best peak condition and not playing in the IPL because they want to prepare for important Test series," he said.
A player of Andrew Flintoff turning freelancer to play in Twenty20 leagues may have shocked many but Lorgat said the injury-ravaged England all-rounder can be counted as an exception.
"That's not a good example. Show me a Sachin (Tendulkar) turning freelancer, show me a Ricky Ponting or a Graeme Smith turning freelancer. They are at the peak of their careers".
"Flintoff decided to do what he did because he was faced with debilitating injuries, he didn't turn freelancer at the peak of his career. It's unfair to say that he turned freelancer at the expense of Test cricket. We all know how he was struggling with his injuries," he reasoned.
Lorgat also made it clear that the ICC was not planning to find a permanent window for the Indian Premier League in the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
"The FTP manages international fixtures. There is no window for any domestic event fixtures. Can you imagine what the FTP would be if we had all the domestic fixtures in it? It's not something that we are looking at. If Boards want to keep a rest period for their players except for those who are in IPL, that's there call. That's consensus", he said.
Asked whether he envisaged international cricket returning to trouble-torn Pakistan in the near future, the ICC Chief Executive said it was not possible to talk about a time-frame at the moment.
"If I had the crystal ball I would have told you when cricket would return to Pakistan. I can not guess a time frame, it depends on the circumstances, on the safety and security situation and the willingness of the players that they are comfortable and they can come.
"The Pakistan Cricket Board wants early resumption of cricket. We have got a task force, they met in December first week. We will receive that report in February Board meeting so I can't tell you what these recommendations are", he said.
On the preparation for the 2011 World Cup to be held in the sub-continent, he said all plans were now on track after the initial hiccups.
"Preparations for the the World Cup is a fairly sizable issue but it's fair to say that having dealt with all the challenges in the past one year we are now well on track.
"Initially we were slow but we are going well now having also resolved the issue of Pakistan hosting. I feel satisfied that we have progressed fairly well in terms of managing issues," he added.