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Media kept in dark on Sachin

BCCI was a little late in waking up to the news that Tendulkar was resuming batting practice, writes G Krishnan.

india Updated: May 12, 2006 14:51 IST
G Krishnan

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was a little late in waking up to the news that Sachin Tendulkar was resuming batting practice -- even if it was a light 45-minute session with tennis balls at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) new centre at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, he progressed to practicing with cricket balls. He batted for close to 30 minutes in the presence of bio-mechanist Ian Frazer and trainer Gregory Allen King.

However, with the Board failing to provide information, it was left to the media to ascertain the whens and wheres of Tendulkar’s practice. They spent the whole of Tuesday trying to find facts, while BCCI’s press release arrived only on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the assembled media at the MCA centre on Wednesday hoped to get an update on his condition, but weren’t allowed up close. Why was the BCCI shutting the doors on media covering Tendulkar’s practice? Why was it being vague about his fitness test, which he would have to clear if he is to play the Tests against the West Indies?

“We do not want them (media) around when Tendulkar is practicing or doing his fitness test,” BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah told HT on Tuesday night. “Even I do not ask John Gloster when he is going to take the fitness test and where. If the word spreads, a crowd could gather around Tendulkar and that could disturb him. Instead, we will let Gloster do the test and wait for his report.”

Tendulkar, given his status, generates special interest among fans and the media. The BCCI could easily have avoided the confusion regarding his practice on Tuesday. The Board should understand that nobody wants to disturb Tendulkar, or any other player, at practice or at a fitness test. An official word and confirmation was all that was required.

Meanwhile, speedster Lakshmipathy Balaji, who is also on road to recovery, has started light bowling and is pleased with his fitness. “I am absolutely fine. I am bowling lightly and things are going well at the moment,” he said.

Balaji had to miss out on the entire Ranji season. He has not played a one-day international since August 2005 due to a stress fracture of the back.