"Full day off today, good to catch up with some sleep. Brilliant sunny day so the plan is to go out somewhere and do a bit of walking", tweeted skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Saturday afternoon. The Indians seem to be in great mood in the United Kingdom. (Read: England beat Australia by 48 runs in Group A opener)
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After almost eight weeks of non-stop Indian Premier League matches crisscrossing the length and breadth of India, and then three full ODI games in a week in the UK, Dhoni's men are surely a tired lot. So much so that India have chosen not to train for the third consecutive day after driving down to London from Cardiff on Friday. (Also read: Missing Steyn, Morkel no excuse for losing, says South Africa coach Gary Kirsten)
The Indian team's media manager Dr Baba (In pic, second from left) messaged travelling journalists on Saturday evening that the team has chosen not to train on Sunday. Earlier, a nets session was planned at The Oval on Sunday afternoon. India play the West Indies in a group B match here on Tuesday.
Team sources reveal Indian players will train in their hotel gym and relax by the poolside on Sunday morning from 10 am. The media has been, as expected, kept off limits. Dr Baba explained: "It's not about any controversy but it is a policy that we have taken. Only official obligations will be entertained, nothing else. I can't change the rules which we have been following for some time."
The treatment meted out to the Indian media here has been quite shabby. Journalists have been kept at arm's length with virtually no access to team news. A well-placed team source jokingly said it was a "deliberate" ploy to "insulate" players from the controversies surrounding the IPL and the Board of Control for Cricket in India's activities. Â
Unlike other teams whose attitude towards their national media is quite 'friendly' and 'understanding', BCCI's tactics have been on the contrary. Almost all national dailies, cricket websites and TV agencies are covering the ICC Champions Trophy, the last time the event is being played.
A senior ICC official said it was up to the respective cricket Boards to determine how they want to deal with their media. "Our (ICC"s) media obligation is just to arrange pre-match and post-match conferences, nothing more. We can't tell BCCI how to handle the media," said ICC's media and communication manager Sami Ul Hasan.