A GAG order passed by BCCI president N Srinivasan saw Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni avoid all question relating to the IPL spot-fixing scandal ahead of his teams departure Tuesday to London for the Champions Trophy.
It is learnt that Srinivasan,through BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale,had conveyed to the Indian skipper to only answer queries related to the ICC event and not look back at the controversy-ridden T20 tournament.
Before the press conference began,media manager S N Baba laid down the ground rules. Only questions about Champions Trophy, he said. But soon the inevitable question cropped up. Has the spot-fixing issue had any impact on the players? Dhoni was asked.
Even before the Indian skipper could blink,the media manager,cried foul. Next question please, he said.
The cat and mouse game between the unrelenting media and the amused Indian skipper continued though. One reporter tried a two-card trick to get a Dhoni quote on the spot-fixing saga.
He first asked the Indian captain about the openers in the side and followed it up with a sucker-punch: How long have you known Vindoo Dara Singh? Dhoni couldnt help but flash a wry smile.
The questions didnt stop.
As the leader of the Indian cricketing fraternity,why is it that we havent heard from you when Indian cricket has been hit by such a big controversy?
Dhoni remained defiant,as the media manager intervened again. More futile attempts were made to skate past the gag-order.
As far as the Champions Trophy is concerned,everything is looking good and dont think there is anything to bother them. As cricketers,we always have that extra sense of responsibility, Dhoni said.
With no breakthrough in sight,the media then turned its attention towards team manager Ranjib Biswal.
He was asked whether the BCCI had set any specific guidelines for him for the Champions Trophy. While the manager insisted that he was simply asked to stick to the general code of conduct,Biswal is learnt to have had lengthy sessions with the players bound for England about what is expected of them.