India’s coach Gary Kirsten has sought to distance himself from the four-part dossier for the Indian team that created a stir world over.
On Friday, Kirsten read out a prepared statement at a press conference ahead of India’s match against Pakistan at Centurion. “My family and I have been deeply offended and hurt by the many allegations that I encouraged the Indian players to engage in sexual activity before a match. I would like to state that I have never … and I repeat never, encouraged or told the team or any player to engage in any form of sexual activity,” said Kirsten.
“These allegations are absolutely not true and completely against my religious and moral beliefs. The leaked article was compiled by Mr Paddy Upton and provided information for the players on the relationship between sexual activity and sports performance. I never wrote the article and read it for the first time two days ago. It has never been and never will be part of team strategy.”
We would like to reiterate here that in the aftermath of the HT publishing word-for-word excerpts from all four parts of the team dossier on Wednesday — on ideas for healthy eating, personal mastery, comparing India’s war history to its cricketing history and on sexual performance and sport - several TV channels and other media reports unfortunately played up only the sexual aspect of the dossier. The dossier, as Kirsten says, does only examine the relationship between sex and sporting performance, written by Upton in a tongue-in-cheek, inoffensive manner.
But the ensuing salacious innuendo and jokes caused major embarrassment to the Indian team, especially its low-profile coach and mental conditioning trainer, both very popular with the Indians.