BCCI intervenes; Dhoni, Sehwag patch up

Zeenews Sports Bureau

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has come up strongly to sort out the differences between the captain and the vice-captain, MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag, of the touring Indian cricket team.

It was learnt that board secretary Sanjay Jagdale had spoken to both the players as well as the other senior members of the team and asked them to sort out their differences as soon as possible.

Dhoni and Sehwag are expected to hold a joint press conference on Friday in Sydney to deny the rift within the team.

The board also asked the cricketers not to speak in public regarding the selection of the team.

The cricketers were also asked to concentrate on cricket as it would help them keep their hopes alive of reaching the finals of the CB Series.

Earlier on Wednesday, the BCCI had sought to scotch the intense speculation about a rift in the Indian cricket team in Australia with its President N Srinivasan calling such media reports as "exaggerated".

Srinivasan had said that he had checked with the media manager and the Board had nothing to be concerned about.

"We have no knowledge of it. I don't think there is any rift in the team. There is nothing to be concerned about," Srinivasan had told reporters after a meeting of the IPL Governing Council here.

"They were responding to such questions in a press conference. It happens after every match. I have spoken to media manager there. I think the reports are exaggerated," he had said.

BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla had also refuted reports of a rift in the team.

"Sehwag has been misquoted. That's what we came to understand. There is no rift in the team. It is only a speculation by a section of media. I don't think there is any problem. BCCI is in constant touch with the team," Shukla had said.

Pressed on the rotation policy, which has generated a heated debate, Shukla had said,"Playing XI decided by tour management consisting of mananger, captain and coach."

Reports of dissensions surfaced mainly after the team management introduced the rotation policy for only three openers -- Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, a move which sparked off a heated debate on its merits.

The first signs of the rift came into the open when Gambhir took a dig at Mahendra Singh Dhoni for not finishing the matches early enough with the skipper retorting that it was a matter of perception.

Dhoni then dropped a bombshell by publicly snubbing the fielding abilities of the three openers and said they were not being played together as they were slow fielders and could cost the team 20 extra runs.

But Sehwag countered his captain by saying that the seniors were never told that fielding was an issue when the rotation policy was introduced.

The verbal duel between the seniors, who have used the press conference to take jibes at each other, have not gone unnoticed by the media, which has constantly highlighted the poor performance of the players in what has turned out of a nightmarish tour of Australia.

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