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Of IPL hang-overs and Dhoni's PDA (Public Display of Anger)
by Suneer Chowdhary
Jun 08, 2009
I am still reeling from the IPL hang-over, despite more than half a month elapsing since the Deccan Chargers lifted the trophy. And no, this isn't about eulogising the tournament, in fact, it is far from it. But, I would be lying if I said that I do not shift my back-side from the comfort of my seat at the end of almost every other ten-over mark, before realising that international cricketers did not feel the need of strategising in the middle of a game as their IPL counterparts did!

I continue with these after-effects. I can swear that the first reaction that emanated from my countenance when someone first reliably informed me that the Indian skipper, M.S.Dhoni had assorted his entire entourage - playing and non-playing alike - and walked into the press conference was how on earth did the room accommodate those dozens. Quite clearly, it had slipped out of my mind that unlike the squads of the IPL, this one consisted of a maximum of fifteen players and not more than five from the support staff and that twenty isn’t that bad a number!

Which brings me to the entire intriguing episode of the whole show of solidarity in front of the media; something that was quite unlike what one has come to expect from someone of Dhoni's repute. So what was the reason again? Ah, someone - or ones - had irresponsibly reported in the media that the reason behind Virender Sehwag's absence from the 'all-important' warm-up game was a rift between the captain and his deputy over some unfathomable reason. And the possible reason behind this assumption had to be that one frank admission by Dhoni that it would be unknown till before the start of the game against Bangladesh whether the opening slaughterer would make it to the line-up; let alone opening it.

There are two aspects to this. For starters, while I assume that most of the Indian media comes under the umbrella of a brand that goes by the name of 'Responsible', it also disturbs me to note that unnecessary speculation is slowly getting rifer amongst them. Like the English paparazzi, there is steady movement of much of this media towards sensationalization of trivial issues or over-intrusion into a cricketer's personal life. Probably, it is the effect of the times we live in; the age-old adage of 'with fame and money, comes the mirror to one's entire life that is held up to the common public'.

The other is of the necessity of the whole charade carried out by M.S.Dhoni. If I were to ask whether it achieved any purpose, the most likely answer would be an emphatic no; in fact, reading out a statement from a piece of paper would have had an opposite effect on those who cared. And hasn't this happened before within the Indian set-up? Reports of friction between players, or players and coach, or players and support staff, or players and selectors and blah, have emerged out of the dressing - or whichever room - on umpteen occasions that has led to a few discordant noted been exchanged but on most of the occasion, it has died a natural death. Was there anything different in the whole affair from all the previous ones that did not meet the eye, or was it just a figment of someone’s imagination that was overdone to rub the wrong side of a normally calm captain?

I shudder to think what would have been the result had the Kolkata Knight Riders decided to react to anything and everything that the Fake IPL Player put down in his exclusive blog about the KKR team. A football stadium would probably have had to be booked for the entire duration of the tournament to 'read out the statements'!
 
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