Viru row: 'Advice wrapped in warning' | india | Hindustan Times
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Viru row: 'Advice wrapped in warning'

BCCI said players are merely barred from talking on 'selection and policies'.

india Updated: May 10, 2006 19:14 IST

After getting flak for trying to gag the players, the Cricket Board on Wednesday tied itself in knots saying that there was no gag but the players are merely barred from talking about "other players, selection and Board policies."

A day after warning vice-captain Virender Sehwag for speaking about deposed captain Sourav Ganguly and player burnout, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah indignantly asked, "how can you call it a media gag on players?"

"It is only a policy decision by the Board that the players other than the captain, cannot talk about other players, selection and Board policies," he argued.

Shah's description of what he told Sehwag varied from a "warning" to an "advice". What exactly was it, he was asked.

"It is a warning. Advice is part of the warning," was his unusual reply.

Shah, however, was clear that no further action was warranted against Sehwag. "The matter is closed," he said.

Sehwag had called Shah on Tuesday to seek permission to take his wife to the West Indies which was granted. At the same time he was administered a verbal warning-cum-advice.

The Board Secretary had just one more piece of advice for the vice-captain -- he should concentrate on cricket now.

Shah said players were free to discuss any problem with the Board officials.

"If he (Sehwag) had some problem he and the other players need only to sit across the table with us and sort it out. Why go to the media? Why drag Rahul Dravid's name and say they had a discussion with Board President Sharad Pawar? These are internal matters," Shah said.

"Does he go to the media when he wants an increase in TA/DA or players' fees," he asked.

In reference to the player burnout issue raised by Sehwag, the Board Secretary said the BCCI was approached by all the Cricket Boards to play matches in order to boost their revenue.

"Playing against India at home or here means big money for the other cricket boards. That's the naked truth and we need to help them.

"Also we have to abide by the Future Tours Programme of the ICC. We never exceed the limit set. In some years we play more and in some others we play less," he said.