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May questions late-finishing Australia ODIs
Richard Sydenham
07:20 AEST Sat Jul 7 2012

Former Australia off-spinner and world players chief Tim May has expressed his disappointment at the unprecedented timings of Australia's one-day matches with Pakistan next month.

Australia will play three 50-over internationals and three Twenty20 games against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, and, because of the extreme heat at the desert venues, the 50-over games will not finish until the early hours of the morning.

The second innings of the three 50-over games will not begin until 2215 local time and the games are due for completion at the absurd hour of 0145.

By the time the players have attended the presentation ceremony, media conferences and had their ice baths, they may not return to their hotel until three in the morning.

Australian Cricketers Association chief Paul Marsh has protested to Cricket Australia about the schedule.

The matches are slated for August 28 and 31 and September 3.

May, in his role as chief executive of the Federation for International Cricketers Association, is concerned by the scheduling, which precedes the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

But he is also troubled that the timings will not help to promote 50-over internationals when they are already threatened by the more popular Twenty20 format.

"This issue, specifically, is more something for Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association to comment on," May told the AAP.

"But looking at it from a more general perspective, the only observation we can make is that recently there has been significant concern regarding the one-day international format and the need to promote to it to the market place.

"Scheduling matches that finish at 1.45am does little to attract support to this format, both from a spectator and player perspective."

Meanwhile, Australia's bid to draw the one-day series in England was boosted with the news that England's key spinner Graeme Swann will miss Saturday's match at Durham and Tuesday's day-nighter in Manchester because of an elbow injury.

Australia must win both matches to level the series having lost the first two games at Lord's and The Oval, before a washed-out third match in Birmingham.

"It was obviously disappointing to be washed out in the last game as we can't win the series now but we're pretty keen to go away with two all," said Australian bowler Ben Hilfenhaus.

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