India in England 2014 August 27, 2014

Dhoni's remarks on Fletcher were facts - BCCI secretary

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel: "Since Fletcher's contract is till the end of the World Cup, Dhoni has only stated the facts" © AFP

BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel has said MS Dhoni was only stating "the facts" when he said Duncan Fletcher would coach India at the 2015 World Cup. There would be no need to discuss Dhoni's comments at the BCCI's next working committee meeting, he said, going against what some of his BCCI colleagues had said earlier.

"Since Fletcher's contract is till the end of the World Cup, Dhoni has only stated the facts," Patel told ESPNcricinfo. "The issue of discussing Dhoni's statement in a meeting does not arise."

Patel, however, clarified that the issue of the team's support staff will be discussed in detail once team manager Sunil Dev and team director Ravi Shastri submit their reports at the conclusion of the ongoing series in England.

Dhoni's remarks on the eve of the washed out opening one-dayer in Bristol had created a stir in the BCCI ranks. In the wake of Shastri's appointment and the shuffle of India's support staff following the team's capitulation in the Tests, Dhoni had insisted that Fletcher was still "the boss" and would be India's coach at the World Cup. He had also said the decision to send bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding coach Trevor Penney "on leave" during this series was "tough on them".

"Definitely he will lead us into the World Cup. Also he is still the boss. We have Ravi [Shastri] who will look into everything, but Duncan Fletcher is the boss. It's not as if his powers or his position have been curtailed," Dhoni had said, adding about the support staff, "Some things just [happen] this way. It's a bit tough on Trevor and Joey, I know. Especially when fielders drop catches and the fielding coach has to miss the series.

While interim president Shivlal Yadav had backed Dhoni, one of the five vice-presidents, Ravi Savant, had expressed the need to discuss the issue at the board's next working committee since coach's contract comes under the purview of the BCCI and not the team captain.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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