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World Cup 2019: Media boycotts interaction with Team India

With two days left for India's first game against South Africa, it was expected that at least coach Ravi Shastri or a senior player or support staff would address the media as it has been the norm in any bilateral series with skipper Virat Kohli coming on the pre-match day.

By: PTI | Southampton |
June 3, 2019 10:40:05 pm
Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri during India’s practice session ahead of World Cup clash against South Africa (Source: AP)

There is something about ICC World Cups where inevitably the relationship between Indian media and the national team becomes frosty. It wasn’t great during the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the start seemed to have been on a discordant note during this edition as well after the Indian media contingent decided to boycott an interaction session with net bowlers Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed.

With two days left for India’s first game against South Africa, it was expected that at least coach Ravi Shastri or a senior player or support staff would address the media as it has been the norm in any bilateral series with skipper Virat Kohli coming on the pre-match day.

However, to everyone’s disbelief, Indian team’s media manager informed the waiting journalists that since Chahar and Avesh are going back on Tuesday (Khaleel is staying back), it was felt that they should get an opportunity to interact with the media.

Livid with decision, senior members of the fraternity protested vehemently to this outrageous idea and he was told that if the team wants to cancel the session, they are free to do so as it is unfair both for the media as well as the two youngsters, who don’t have any authority to answer team related queries.

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When asked why no player or support staff was made available, the media manager said that it was done since India haven’t started its World Cup campaign yet.

The logic didn’t seem convincing as it has never happened two days before a marquee event. It seemed more like a case where the Indian media was being told that you have to make do with whatever we make available for you.

This seemed to be in complete contrast with the relationship that the jumbo Bangladeshi media share with their ‘Tigers’ or even the handful of Pakistani journalists with their players.

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Many were reminded of the 2015 World Cup, when there was a complete gag on media save pre and post-match days and skipper Dhoni would come for every post-match interaction instead of day’s performer, who would be interviewed by the official BCCI website.

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First published on: 03-06-2019 at 10:40:05 pm

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