The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rahul Dravid chooses not to react
- BCCI to seek ‘explanation’ on captain’s outburst against Desai

Rajkot: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is known to sit on matters which demand prompt action, but has chosen to quickly act on an issue which shouldn’t actually have been touched upon till the end of the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.

One is referring to secretary Niranjan Shah’s announcement on Friday that the BCCI would seek an ‘explanation’ from captain Rahul Dravid for his stinging attack on Chetan Desai, who’d been manager during the recent Test series in South Africa.

On Wednesday, Dravid tore into Desai after a TV channel claimed to quote from his confidential report to BCCI president Sharad Pawar and ran a story about a row between coach Greg Chappell and former vice-captain Virender Sehwag before the Durban Test.

Desai, apparently, also didn’t have complimentary things to say about Dravid over the playing XI’s selection for the (third and final) Test in Cape Town. The captain had fought for Sehwag being retained.

Talking to the Media at the Eden, Dravid said: “First of all, I have not seen the report. I can only say there is no problem in the team. It’s important to put it in perspective and understand that I’ve been asked to give my views on a report by somebody (else).

“When I last looked at the history of Indian cricket, I didn’t necessarily see his name featuring very prominently. Maybe, I’ll go back and look again... When I’m asked questions regarding comments and opinions of people, I expect you to ask questions about people who have at least played the game or have some standing or have been involved with the game in some capacity...

“Anybody is entitled to give his opinion, anyone is entitled to give a report... I will comment when it’s worthy of my comment...”

Some hours before the Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers landed for the second ODI here, on Sunday, the Rajkot-based Shah told a Media conference: “We would like to talk to Dravid and find out the exact situation in which he is reported to have said those words...

“Desai was the manager and, as per tradition, he has filed his report on the team’s return... The report is with Mr Pawar and, after he reads it, he would give us guidelines on what to do...”

That the BCCI wanted an ‘explanation’ was conveyed to Dravid by The Telegraph moments after he got off the Jet Airways flight from Mumbai, around 8.45 pm. He didn’t look perturbed as he went through the Media conference report filed by a news agency.

Asked if he had a reaction, Dravid replied: “No... I haven’t heard anything from the BCCI... I must not comment...” It’s understandable that, this time, he played with a perfectly straight bat.

Desai is associated with the Goa Cricket Association, which backed Pawar when he defeated Ranbir Singh Mahendra 15 months ago.

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