22 November, 2008

Selection meeting leaks 'disgusting' - Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has described as "disgusting and disrespectful" that matters which are discussed in selection meetings are leaked and reported in the media. India's selectors chose Irfan Pathan over for the next two ODIs against England over RP Singh and reports of a serious disagreement over selection cast a cloud over India's preparations for the fourth ODI against England in Bangalore.

"I don't know where the report came from. It cannot be a report because what happens inside a inside meeting when the selectors, the captain and the coaches are there, when it comes out it is disgusting and disrespectful," said Dhoni. "Things like this should not be happening. I'm not saying something happened at the meeting, but over the years we have seen things being leaked from meetings and things getting out.

The Kolkata-based Anandabazar Patrika reported on Saturday that Dhoni favoured the inclusion of RP Singh in the squad for the next two ODIs and offered to step down when the selectors insisted on replacing him with Irfan Pathan. The report said the board president, Shashank Manohar, had been informed of the argument.

BCCI officials have denied the report. "I don't talk about selection meetings. In any case it is all rubbish," N Srinivisan, the board secretary, told Cricinfo.

The report said the selectors raised with Srinivasan - present at the meeting, as convenor - the issue of a lack of respect shown to them by Dhoni. Srinivasan in turn informed Manohar. The board president, with a reputation of being a disciplinarian, is reported to have said unnecessary tantrums would not be tolerated and that no one was irreplaceable. The team, he reportedly said, cannot be picked on personal preferences.

"This is the pinnacle of the sport. We are selecting 15 guys for the Indian team," said Dhoni. "There will be debates inside and that information should not be put out in the media. If it is meant to come out, then I can say we might as well have the whole meeting telecast live on television. Nobody knows what was discussed except the eight guys in the meeting. And only they know whether its the truth or not."

Dhoni said he did not speak to the BCCI because he felt it was not important. In his view, matters of selection should be revealed by the BCCI, the chairman of selectors, one on of the individuals on the selection panel. "We have an important match coming up and we chose instead to focus on that match," he said. "This is a selection thing and personally I don't discuss anything outside. To some extent it does distract us. The good part is that we trust each other - every player in the team trusts each other."

Dhoni pledged his support to both concerned players, RP and Pathan, who he also said had faith in his abilities. "There might be a scenario where all of a sudden we might want to get in touch with RP Singh and Irfan Pathan. It should not be a case where RP feels he is not wanted and left out. I will stand and defend both these players.

"We do not have players in this team with outstanding talent which can win every game. But as a team we are outstanding. So for us the mantra is being a team and these things will not break the trust we have in each other. It's important for us to be a team." SOURCE OF LIVE CRICKET

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