All his life, former India captain MS Dhoni kept a calm demeanour – but there have been instances when he stumped one and all during press conferences. Not once, not twice – Dhoni has been guilty of doing it more than that. In one such instance, Dhoni truly did the unthinkable when he walked into a presser with the entire Indian team.
It happened during the build-up to the 2009 T20 World Cup when reports of a likely rift between Dhoni and Virender Sehwag came to the fore. Two days ahead of the game against Bangladesh, an annoyed Dhoni when asked about Sehwag’s injury said: “Whatever is related to the fitness, you will get from the BCCI.” When probed further, he replied: “I am not saying anything on that”, even while admitting he was aware of the injury status.
This sparked speculations of the rift. Then – on the eve of the Bangladesh game – the media present for the press conference saw the entire Indian team walkout for the press conference in a bid to show unity. Sehwag and the rest of the support staff were around Dhoni – who sat down – and then read out a statement.
In that statement, Dhoni said to the millions of Indian cricket fans and fans of the team around the globe that the spirit in the team had been as good as it had ever been.
“Recent reports in the Indian media of a rift between myself and Sehwag amounts to nothing but false and irresponsible media reporting,” the statement read. “Our fans and supporters can take confidence from the wonderful unity that continues to exist in the team.”
Just after Dhoni was done reading the statement, the entire team did not entertain any more questions as they walked out.