World T20 2014 March 13, 2014

Dhoni avoids media before World T20


MS Dhoni will leave on Friday morning for the World T20 without holding the customary pre-departure media conference. This is the second time in three weeks that the Indian team will fly out for an overseas series without addressing the national media.

Dhoni has returned to the national side after missing the Asia Cup due to a side strain that he suffered during India's tour of New Zealand earlier this year. Virat Kohli, who led India during the Asia Cup in Dhoni's absence, had also given the national media a skip before the team left for Dhaka on February 23.

Traditionally, the India captain and coach interact with the media prior to departure for every overseas assignment. However, the BCCI's decision to not organise an interaction for the second time in succession comes as a surprise, especially with the trying circumstances Indian cricket finds itself in.

The Indian team has had a forgettable last three months, extending their poor run away from home during the tours to South Africa and New Zealand, and then failing to qualify for the Asia Cup final. The team's lack of success away from home has raised questions over coach Duncan Fletcher¹s role, with former captain Sunil Gavaskar asking for Fletcher to be replaced with Rahul Dravid.

Even off the field, Indian cricket is struggling to recover from the IPL corruption scandal. A Supreme Court-appointed panel found that Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan, bet during matches in the 2013 IPL. Justice Mukul Mudgal, the chief of the panel, has submitted a sealed envelope to the court, which reportedly includes names of several current India players who need to be investigated for their role in corrupt activities.

Neither Fletcher nor Dhoni have spoken about the corruption scandal so far. In the wake of this, the BCCI's decision not to organise a press conference is even more baffling.

However, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel played down the issue. "The only reason for not organising a media conference before the team¹s departure is because the captain will address the media soon after landing in Dhaka, as per the ICC protocol," he said.

Last year, Dhoni and Fletcher had addressed the media before heading to England for the Champions Trophy, though Dhoni refrained from answering questions on the IPL corruption scandal.

This will perhaps be the first time that the Indian team will leave for an ICC event without addressing the media at home. Barring the inaugural World T20 in 2007 when most of the team members, including captain Dhoni, left for South Africa after the completion of the tour to England, the BCCI has always facilitated the coach and captain's interaction with the media.

However, over the last couple of years, the BCCI has started shielding the players from the media. While Fletcher is believed to have a clause in his contract to keep his interaction with the media to a minimum, the BCCI's constitution bans selectors from speaking to the media.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    My team for the match against pakistan..

    Dhawan, Rahane, Kohli, Yuvi, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mishra, Bhuvi, Shami

    If 6 batters cannot bat for 20 overs, then there is no way we are going to win matches..

    I have included Rahane instead of Rohit owing to his better fielding skills..

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    @Abhijet_Manohar, Dear friend I agreed what you are pointing out. Rohit played Stayn 16 balls without a single run. But can you see the overall baground. After nonstop playing in Indian flat tracks hoew can any batsman perform immediately? Indian team shifted from Kanpur to Wanders in just 4 days. Rohit gave rightely respect to the great fast bowler. Unfortunately he got runout in that game, otherwise the match result might have different, cse for the batsmen like Rohit can raise runrate in 4/5 overs at their will. And please remember it was Rohits first appearence in SA. All batsmen struggeled in these conditions playing for the first time. Remember Gavaskar. After scoring 774 runs in debue against WI, failed to score in his next series in England. Pujara failed in his first appearence in SA. In NZ tour Rohit scored 2 important knocks. In first test 72 & match saving 31 not out in second. In ODIs Rohit scored 4,20,39,79 & 4 which is not bad atall where Dhavan, Rahane failed in all ODI

  • VIJAY on March 14, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    @ immi2711...i found you only the guy (from Pakistan) having positive thinking towards Indian cricket here, and you said the real thing, yes media did not like both Misba and Dhoni....thank you for your view

  • VIJAY on March 14, 2014, 17:53 GMT

    @ immi2711...i found you only the guy (from Pakistan) having positive thinking towards Indian cricket here, and you said the real thing, yes media did not like both Misba and Dhoni....thank you for your view

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 15:30 GMT

    Dears I would like to add whether you play in sub-continent or outside .Experience is going to play a crucial role,see whenever a team wins World Cup say 1992 Pakistan( (Imran,Waqar,Wasim,Moin)in australia,1996 ( Arjuna,Murali,De silva,Sanath..) in Asia,2011 India Gambhir,Sachin,Zaheer,Dhoni..)in India.Selectors have to make a blend of selection,which is missing out in the Present team ,which is primarliy occupied by Chennai and Mumbai IPL teams,which is wrong..I would like to add hitting sixes in 20 balls will not solve the purpose for India while loosing so many dot balls bu opener called Rohit Sharma.Poor Team selection .Anyway best of luck Dhoni,Chennai and Mumbai Team.Please play for India ...

  • Abhijeth on March 14, 2014, 15:17 GMT

    @Anand Palwankar - I remember Rohit not able to score off for 16 balls against SA ODI late last year. What are you talking about?

    He didn't do anything in New Zealand so yea, guess he's living up to your promise

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    For India Rohit Sharma is going to be very curtail batsman. As we observing him since SA tour, he don't have any weak point in his batting. He drives well, handles short ball very well. In Asia cup against Pakistan he was just superb. He faced Junaid and Gul verwell. Even Ajmal couldn't stop him. After got promoted as an opener we are getting best of Rohit Sharma. Coming down the order was just waste of talent. Watched hitting sixes to worlds top most bowlers like Johnson, Maccay, Messy, Sauthy, Morkel etc. It was really treat to watch that. He is guy regularly facing critics against him. But still going strong enough. This is because fans always wants something special from him. Dhavan, Rahane, Virat too failed frequently but Rohit is targeted because only fans want special performance from him always. This is good sign too for India. Along with Shikhar if India gets start over 50 runs in say about 5/6 overs, Virat, Yuvi, Raina, Dhoni can take charge afterwords. Come on Rohit. ATB

  • iman on March 14, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    From Pakistan > I dont understand why Indian & media dont admire Dhoni, I am a huge fan, and he is probably the best captain the world has produced in the last 20-25 years. It is not just his cricket abilities, but his demeanour, his attitude, his speaking skills as a captain, are very admiring. This is what you look for in a captain. In Pakistan, Misbah has turned out to be a pretty good captain, it is not just your cricket skills, but your character should also show you are a leader material....and both Misbah and Dhoni have showed class, and still media and ppl dont respect them, it is sad....

    In anycase, putting patriotism aside, India will win the match against Pak, simply becuase of better batsmen and Pak bowling is really ordinary right now...AAAAND Dhoni will just strengthen the middle of the pack....

  • Nikhil on March 14, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    I like Kinathi's 11 with one change - I would replace Mohit sharma with Amit Mishra. 4 seam up bowlers on flat decks in Bangladesh will not be a good idea. Shami, Bhuvi, 2 spinners (Jadeja + Mishra) , Binny as the seaming all-rounder and then the part timers (Yuvi. Raina and Kohli) should be a decent bowling unit and a pretty attacking batting unit.

  • John on March 14, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    The sensational and hype driven Indian media deserves this treatment after their shabby treatment of Dhoni and Fletcher. Good job .

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