India cricket team bars media, trains behind black boards before Bangladesh Test
Indian cricket team’s practice session was blocked from the view of the media personnel with no explanation offered. India play a one-off Test vs Bangladesh in Hyderabad from Thursday.cricket Updated: Feb 08, 2017 19:06 IST
In a strange and seemingly unprofessional move, the Indian team management on Wednesday decided to block the media from watching the team’s nets session on the eve of the one-off Test against Bangladesh.
On Tuesday, the media could use one side, just behind the nets, to click pictures and observe the training as the other sides were blocked with curtains.
Although the photographers, cameramen and scribes jostled for space and clicked whatever they could from behind the railing where they were allowed to stand, they managed to get something out of it.
Behind black screens
There was no such luck for them on Wednesday as black screens were put behind every batting net, ensuring no one got to watch anything.
“We had created space for photojournalists and journalists to click pictures and observe the proceedings. But the Indian team objected to it and asked us to block the view,” said the Hyderabad Cricket Association’s media manager.
While the most obvious reason would be to avoid distraction from the prying media, the Indian cricket board had in the past jealously guarded its players from the media.
Player managers’ role
The players’ managers too have had a major role to play in ensuring players are not easily accessible to the media. And not just them, broadcasters and IPL franchises too have kept media and the common man at a distance.
It is unlikely the team wanted to conceal any strategy as skipper Virat Kohli has shown enough confidence in his boys and hasn’t been intimidated by Bangladesh at all.
In the past, the board has often issued gag orders on not just international players but also on domestic players. A classic example came a few years ago when they made a rule which allowed first-class players to speak only at the end of Ranji Trophy matches and not at the end of each day’s play, which had been the norm for decades.