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Indian team's absence from ICC awards raises eyebrows

In what has become a nightmare of a tour, the Indian cricket team found itself at the centre of a fresh controversy by skipping the ICC Annual Awards despite having a few of its top players in the list of nominees.

The team claimed that the invite for the function came late but the ICC insisted that the BCCI and the visiting side had been informed well in advance.

The Indians, whitewashed 0-4 in the Tests and trailing 0-2 in the ODIs against England, were interestingly staying at a hotel close to the venue of the function held last night. Indian team manager Shivlal Yadav expressed his helplessness, stating he was informed only at 12 noon by an ICC communication officer by which time "the players were already away, some shopping, some sight-seeing as this was their final day of stay in London."

The clarification from the ICC was that a mail to this effect had already been sent to the BCCI, much in advance on August 26.

"The Indian team management had been invited to attend tonight and they were invited some weeks ago. Those who were nominated for awards have known it since 26th of August, in Canterbury, when the short-listed names for the awards were announced," said ICC's Head of Communications Colin Gibson. The ICC sources said they have evidence by mail which confirms that the BCCI was aware of the function and had also agreed that the Indian team would attend it. "If it wasn't so, the Indian team ought to have left for Cardiff (the venue of the final one-dayer) today itself and not stayed back in London on Monday," said an ICC spokesman.

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