This controversy might not reach anywhere near the epic proportions of one caused by another tweet over a month ago, but the tweets by Lalit Modi and someone who is reportedly Mahendra Singh Dhoni (it is believed to be Dhoni, but is an unverified Twitter profile) have one thing in common — they were both unnecessary and possibly thoughtless.
On Sunday, five days after India’s early exit from the World Twenty20, the alleged tweet by the India skipper, when replying to a query by a fan, needlessly put him in the line of fire for trigger-happy critics.
The fan’s query on ‘Dhoni’s’ twitter wall was this: “Even a child knew (Murali) Vijay was never replacement for Viru in T20 WC. (Robin) Uthappa certainly was. How can u nod to everything Chika (K Srikkanth) says?”
And the man we think is Dhoni tweeted this back: “I have my views in selection, not a say, hope u understand the difference.” On the face of it, it should not have generated any controversy, after all, even if it is Dhoni, he was stating bald fact, as is his wont. However, Dhoni is India skipper and has been in charge of the Indian team for almost three years, and is reasonably expected to be aware of the dangers of speaking out on a public forum.
The fact that an India skipper does not have a vote in team selections is well known, even though his views are generally taken on board. But the wording of the response (even if innocently made) could be interpreted in any number of ways. For instance, Dhoni wasn’t pleased with Vijay’s selection. Or Dhoni doesn’t get along with the selection panel.
Former India skipper Anil Kumble, in his column for HT on Sunday, had stressed the need for improving cricketers’ communication skills. “It’s important for the BCCI to ensure that contracted players at least are given not just cricketing infrastructure but life infrastructure. Today’s players need management skills, communication skills, professional media skills — they are, after all, brand ambassadors for the country,” Kumble wrote.
If this is the real Dhoni, the tweet could be a timely reminder to the BCCI to take Kumble’s advice seriously. They don’t always need to make news for all the wrong reasons.