New Delhi: Brushing aside the reports of the Indian team skipping envoy's dinner for a charity event organised by MS Dhoni, the Indian Cricket Board said the players had committed to the event six months in advance.
Dhoni and his wife Sakshi had organised the event on July 18 to raise funds for under-privileged children and the event, which garnered £450,000, was attended by his teammates, including Sachin Tendulkar, and other dignitaries.
"The Indian High Commission had extended an invitation to the Indian team to attend a reception on 18 July 2011. However, the Indian cricket team had already committed itself to another function on the same day, six months in advance," N Srinivasan, BCCI Secretary, said in a statement.
"The BCCI had accordingly communicated the same to the Indian High Commission, and suggested that the reception be organised on 25 July 2011 instead."
"However, the Indian High Commission authorities said that there were other engagements scheduled on the 25th. They also informed the BCCI that they would get in touch with the Indian Team Management after its arrival in the UK, and fix up a date for the reception. The BCCI agreed to this," he added.
This clarification came after a national daily said in its report on Wednesday: "The Indian cricket team and the cricket board (BCCI) have been reported by the Indian high commission to the ministry of external affairs (MEA) in Delhi for failing to attend a reception on July 18, which was to be hosted by the Indian high commissioner to the United Kingdom."
According to the report, High Commissioner Nalin Surie had to abandon his planned dinner for the cricketers, which was to attended by over 200 people on the lawns of the Surie's residence at Kensington Palace Gardens. He later reported the matter to the Ministry of External Affairs for further action at its end.
Rubbishing the claims, Srinivasan said: "The BCCI would like to make it clear that this story is baseless."