Jim Lyon – For the good of body and soul it is time for a break

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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Feet up, watch the telly, go on holiday, spend time with the kids and generally do naff all.

That is what should be prescribed for the bulk of the England cricketers over the next few weeks.

After the latest ‘Tour From Hell!!’ what most of them need is a serious break from the treadmill of international cricket.

With the incessant nature of the Test, ODI and T20 schedule these days it is hardly any surprise that the bodies are wearing out and the minds have already gone.

It is not even the playing that will do for them, it is the relentless travelling and constant absence from any sense of normality that plays tricks with their well-being.

Without some kind of rest there is the real prospect of doing big damage to the future as well as the present.

Stuart Broad’s body is being patched up on a daily basis, James Anderson looked for much of the Ashes series as though he was blowing from the wrong end and Steven Finn has just been destroyed – without even getting on the field – as a bowling force. That is to name just a few.

The cricket never stops and the expectation never drops. It is just too much.

Take Joe Root.

Widely accepted as being the brightest of the next generation for his country, he has completed 15 Tests, 21 one-day internationals and four T20s in national colours.

This despite the fact he only made his debut just before Christmas in 2012.

That has all taken place in around 13 months and has taken him to India, New Zealand and Australia on top of a very intense domestic campaign in this country.

The lad has only just turned 23.

He is, I am sure, loving the chance he has been given to live out the schoolboy dream and play for his country.

But it takes a strong physique and even more mental strength to keep that up for too long.

Thankfully Finn has been told to have a break and is omitted from the T20 World Cup squad.

There must be more than one or two others who would, if they were honest, relish a chance to do the same.

A break could also be excellent for the domestic game.

Around two-and-a-half months separate us from the start of the LV= County Championship season and around six months from England’s next Test match.

If these players can get a good few weeks of R&R before returning to their counties we could see some of our nation’s best in action fully refreshed at a ground near you, easing themselves back in to things and making a Monday afternoon at Hove, Taunton or even Northampton much more attractive to spectators – a rare treat indeed the days.