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Team India mars media's expectations

Sourav and Irfan, the day's top performers, dampen media's hope by not showing up.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 05:12 IST

The relationship between the Indian team and the travelling media hit rock bottom when Harbhajan Singh was surprisingly sent in for the press conference at the end of the first day's play of the four-day game against Rest of South Africa on Thursday.

The media, who had made a requested Indian media manager Rajan Nair for interaction with the day's top performers, either Sourav Ganguly or Irfan Pathan, were stunned to see Harbhajan Singh walk in for the press conference.

A few in the print media boycotted the session which coming on the heels of the boycott by electronic media earlier in the day, represented a complete breakdown in the relations between the team and media on this tour.

"Sourav Ganguly was hit on the head and Pathan was too exhausted and the team management felt that Harbhajan Singh should stand in for them," Nair said.

He was told by media that they were prepared to wait for Pathan to recover but were informed the team management had already made up their mind on Harbhajan.

No allowance was made for the argument that Ganguly, hit on his helmet when in his 50s, had continued to bat for over an hour thereafter in making a fighting 83.

Electronic media had earlier boycotted the day's proceedings for what they termed as poor language used by a Cricket South Africa official and the failure of Nair to intervene in the matter.

Media, both print and electronic, have been frustrated on this tour with the gag put on Indian players and repeatedly their requests even for a common press conference with a player of their choice have been turned down.