Millennium Post

Veil of silence irks media

Veil of silence irks media
The players have not spoken publicly since skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni addressed the mandatory post-match conference after the victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in Adelaide last Sunday.

When the squad’s media manager puts out a release detailing practice times and venues, he does not fail to emphasise there will be ‘no media activity’ after training. The earliest a member of the team will speak now is at the next mandatory pre-match media conference on Saturday ahead of the key Pool B match against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground the next day.

A media release said Dhoni will skip the conference, leaving his vice-captain Virat Kohli to take questions. While other teams organise regular media interactions during the six-week tournament, the Indian squad is apparently following a diktat from the BCCI to speak publicly only when it is mandated by rules. “I think it all boils down to the mistrust of the media. There has to be a reason for it, but I don’t know what. Maybe they feel players are misquoted for the sake of creating a controversy. But it is a challenge reporting on the Indian team,” said veteran Indian journalist R. Kaushik from Wisden India.

Dhoni, one of the most popular cricketers in India, rarely gives one-to-one interviews and has even gone on record to say he speaks to the media only because his job requires him to. During the World Twenty20 in England in 2009 after reports of dissension in the team appeared in an Indian newspaper, the entire squad turned up for the media briefing and left soon after Dhoni read out a statement. No questions were taken, leaving International Cricket Council media managers embarrassed and journalists furious.
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