India enact media drama to show unity
India's cricketers held an unique media conference in Nottingham on Friday to dismiss reports of dissension in the team ahead of the World Twenty20.cricket Updated: Jun 05, 2009 18:18 IST
India's cricketers held an unique media conference in Nottingham on Friday to dismiss reports of dissension in the team ahead of the World Twenty20.
The entire squad turned up for the pre-match briefing, instead of just the captain and coach, before their opening match against Bangladesh at Trent Bridge on Saturday.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni read out a prepared statement and then walked out with his team-mates in front of a large group of stunned media persons before any questions could be asked.
The defending champions were peeved at media reports back home that Dhoni had clashed with vice-captain Virender Sehwag last week which prompted the aggressive opener to miss two practice matches.
Dhoni had told reporters a few days back that Sehwag had suffered a shoulder injury soon after the team's arrival in London and was doubtful for Saturday's opener against Bangladesh.
The Indian captain's statement on Friday stressed on a "superbly unified team with each individual supporting each other, both on and off the field."
"This message is for the people of India, and for Indian cricket fans worldwide, and comes from the whole team," the statement read by Dhoni began.
"That's why we are all here.
"As we prepare for the World Twenty20, we are a superbly unified team. The team spirit is good as it has ever been, with each individual supporting each other, both on and off the field.
"Recent reports in the Indian media of a rift between myself and Sehwag amount to nothing but false and irresponsible media.
"Our fans and supporters can take confidence from the wonderful unity that continues to exist in this team.
"We thank our fans for their continued support and look forward to entertaining you during this tournament, which we go into well-prepared, unified as Team India and confident.
"Thank you," the statement ended.
First Published: Jun 05, 2009 18:15 IST