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Stephen & players feeling distracted

Dubai: Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming on Monday conceded to experiencing off-field “distractions” going into the IPL VII season because of the controversies surrounding the team. However, he hoped that his side would settle down once the tournament begins on Wednesday.

“There’s a lot going on, I won’t lie. There are a lot of distractions (leading up to the tournament). I think we were all uncertain about how it was going to play out,” Fleming said at a press conference here.

“We were desperate to get back into the fold of the team. It has only been six years but a lot has happened. It’s nice to get back into a team environment, where you’re somewhat cocooned, and get a bit more info. All we can do is try and be consistent again but yes, it (controversy) is there, we acknowledge it.”

The franchise has been on shaky ground ever since one of their officials, Gurunath Meiyappan, also the son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan — the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements, the company that owns CSK — was arrested on charges of cheating, forgery and fraud two days before the IPL 2013 final, amid the spot-fixing scandal.

The Supreme Court, while hearing a case related to Srinivasan’s conflict of interest issues, decided against suspending the franchise.

Fleming said getting together as a team could act as a balm for the players’ nerves. “Getting back into the team environment is the most important thing. We’ll touch on the controversies (in team talks), if we think it’s an issue. But I think most players are pretty relieved to be back and playing together.”