India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni yesterday maintained his stoic silence on the spot fixing scandal even in the face of repeated questions from journalists during a press conference ahead of the Indian team’s departure for the last ever Champions Trophy tournament.
Dhoni, who leads Chennai Super Kings (which lost the IPL final on Sunday night), was asked three to four questions about the scandal but chose to keep his silence.
The BCCI, predicting the possibility of Dhoni being badgered with awkward questions on the scandal which has led to the arrest of CSK’s team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, issued a diktat informing journalists attending the press conference that they won’t be allowed to ask questions on spot fixing.
However, questions such as the below were still thrown at the cornered captain:
# Do you know Vindoo Dara Singh personally (one of those arrested in the spot fixing scandal)
# Can you guarantee Indian cricket fans that during the Champions Trophy, there will be no mischief on the field?
# What do you have to say about spot-fixing? Has there been an impact on players going into the Champions Trophy?
# As leader of the Indian cricket fraternity, why have we not heard from you so far?’
One query even managed to evict a smile from the skipper before media manager Dr R N Baba came to his rescue.
Dr Baba, an official of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, reminded a journalist to keep the questions restricted to the Champions Trophy when he dared to ask Dhoni why he hadn’t responded as the leader of the Indian cricket team. According to PTI, Dr Baba, whose son Aparajith is an U-19 India player and is contracted with CSK, is one of BCCI president N Srinivasan’s close aides.
Hopes on bowlers
While Dhoni needs no reminder that India have not won the Champions Trophy, he said that the team had the ‘right mix’ in the fast bowling department to take advantage of the seamer-friendly conditions in England.
Dhoni pinned his hopes on the trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and the experienced Ishant Sharma to win India their maiden Champions Trophy title.
“When it comes to the fast bowling department, there are people who can exploit the conditions. Someone like Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) can swing the ball, there is Umesh (Yadav) who has pace. It’s a good department,” Dhoni said.