On Wednesday, a day after India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni ducked questions on the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal, BCCI president N. Srinivasan justified his decision to impose a gag order. (Sachin is 'batku', Dhoni is 'helicopter')
"Let me make it clear, no one has gagged anyone. But yesterday's (Tuesday) press conference was meant for the Champions Trophy. We mentioned that clearly in our media release. So it was natural that Dhoni answered questions related to that tournament only," N. Srinivasan told The Indian Express.
Just before leaving for Engand, Dhoni assured the media and the nation that the team's preparations for the Champions Trophy were in full swing and it will be a great opportunity for youngsters to shine. He though, under alleged instructions from the BCCI, refused to answer questions on the IPL spot-fixing scandal. He just smiled when he was asked to comment on the issue and reveal his links with Vindoo Dara Singh.
Srinivasan also referred the press conferences as 'goodwill' exercises but accused the media for 'spreading bad blood'. "These media events are basically goodwill exercises. These are meant for sending goodwill to the team. But all we saw was bad blood," he said.
Srinivasan, under pressure to step down as BCCI chief after his son-in-law was arrested for his alleged links with bookies, said Dhoni was right in staying silent. "It was not the right platform. The session was solely about the Indian team and Champions Trophy. How could IPL figure in that?" he asked.
He also said that BCCI did not curb 'free speech' but players have to speak 'within the guidelines'.
"It's up to the individual. BCCI works in a democratic set-up and it doesn't have a clause that curbs free speech. We have a code of conduct for the players and they must adhere to team discipline. They can work or speak within the guidelines."