DHAKA (TIP): Has there ever been an occasion when a World Cup match involving India been reduced to a side show? In the wake of the damning interim order of the Supreme Court on N Srinivasan and the spotfixing controversy, the team’s ICC World T20 Super 10 encounter against hosts Bangladesh at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, has been reduced to a footnote.
The team arrived at the stadium in their spacious greenline luxury bus at around 3 pm and Rohit Sharma, who addressed the media in place of skipper MS Dhoni, would have been surprised to see many non-Indian mediapersons showing interest. Before the first question could be asked, the team’s media manager Dr RN Baba, issued instructions to the media. “No questions on what’s happening back home. Questions only on World T20.”
That irked a senior journalist who retorted: “You need not state the obvious. We all know Rohit is not in a position to answer those questions.” ICC spokesperson then stepped in and said that Baba was just making a polite request. The mood was restive and Rohit must have felt tackling Dale Steyn on a green top at Kingsmead would have been easier. A couple of western journalists though did ask him about how the team could concentrate with so much happening back home. The opener handled those googlies well. “It’s important for us to focus as we have a big job on our hands.
When we came here, we were determined to win the tournament. We have won two out of two games and tomorrow (Friday) is another crucial match. At the moment, our focus is on this game,” he said. Another googly came in the form of a similar question as Rohit was asked if the players had spoken about these issues and followed news channels. “Not at all,” was his reply. After the press conference concluded, a large group of scribes surrounded Baba and asked him why Dhoni didn’t address the media. He said, “He will be available only when the team loses. When the team wins, the performer of the day will speak.” Baba also denied that there was a BCCI diktat which prevented players from talking about the IPL controversy. “But they will not speak about it,” he stressed.