Cardiff: The ICC Champions Trophy seems to have come as a great relief for India's top cricketers. Far away from the bickering inside the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys are enjoying the British sun and having a little bit of fun.
After Saturday's comprehensive five-wicket win against Sri Lanka in a warm-up match at Edgbaston, Birmingham, the Indians drove into Cardiff Sunday afternoon. It was a sunny welcome for the Indians and an off-day for a young team, many of whom will be playing the Champions Trophy for the first time in their lives.
The Indians will train at the Cardiff Wales Stadium (popularly, the Swalec Stadium) on Monday morning, but tomorrow (Monday) will be special day for Team India when Dhoni will receive the ICC ODI Shield as well as a cheque for USD 175,000 for being the number-one ranked side on the ICC ODI Championship table at the April 1, 2013 cut-off date. India will play Australia in a warm-up game on Tuesday.
It may have been a busy day for India's cricket administrators in Chennai, but the players seem least affected - and rightly so -- by the sordid political drama BCCI's bosses are playing. Nothing works better than a win and Dhoni's first comment after the victory against the Lankans was "winning is a habit." It's now up to the team to keep this momentum going as that will be the best advertisement for Indian cricket currently caught at the cross-roads of match-fixing scandals in its jewel in the crown, the Indian Premier League.
Their team may have been in the news for the wrong reasons, but far away from their tainted 'team principal' Gurunath Meiyappan, two Chennai Super Kings were happily enjoying a meal at Cardiff's City Centre. Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja spent a leisurely afternoon over roasted chicken, burgers, fries and coke from a popular fast-food brand. Not surprisingly, they were spotted by an Indian family and happily posed for photographs.
Food is a great binder for Indian cricketers. For Dhoni, the icing in the cake after Saturday's win against Sri Lanka was an Indian meal, complete with ginger tea. The younger lot, like Raina and Jadeja, still loves the international fast food brands!