India Sports
A day of speculations, wild goose chase for media
Apr 5, 2007 - 10:00:52 PM

Mumbai, April 5 - Wild speculation, innuendo and wild goose chase were the order of the day here Thursday, the eve of the crucial meetings to take stock of India's World Cup catastrophe. There was little authentic information as to which path the Indian cricket will take.

While officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India - started arriving in the city for the three scheduled meetings for Friday and Saturday, sensational speculation and unconfirmed reports continued through the day.

All television channels permanently stationed at least three camera crews - at the Taj Hotel where coach Greg Chappell would be spending his final night in India Thursday, outside the Wankhede Stadium where the BCCI headquarters is housed, and at the Cricket Club of India - where BCCI officials are checking in at - from morning to evening.

But hardly any official was willing to speak on the hot issues.

For the moment, BCCI administrators do not want any journalists to enter the headquarters. They have given 'strict instructions', as several board staff members told IANS Thursday, to the private security guards employed by the board.

'It is not their fault if they stopped you for a while at the reception. They have been given strict instructions not to let mediapersons climb up to the board office -,' said the functionary, apologising for stopping this reporter on his way up to the office.

Many reporters and cameramen sat just outside the BCCI headquarters all through the day, waiting for the officials to emerge.

Just adjacent to the board office a Twenty20 tournament was going on inside the Wankhede Stadium, but not a single camera crew bothered to capture the action despite there being no restriction on its coverage.

BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, an otherwise down-to-earth administrator, had hardly had any time to look up to the person he was talking to as he constantly kept reading the mails on his BlackBerry mobile. He, simultaneously, kept a close watch on his other cell phone.

Shah, however, found some time to walk to the adjacent stadium to watch his son play for his native Saurashtra, in the company of Dilip Vengsarkar, the chairman of selection committee.

Shah and Vengsarkar will meet again at the first of the two meetings at which India's first-round exit from the World Cup will be discussed with the BCCI office-bearers - or the top nine officials - and India's World Cup team manager Sanjay Jagdale.

With Chappell's decision not to seek renewal of his contract, which was till April 30, much of the fizz and suspense of these meetings have gone out. Now, it only remains to be seen what Chappell and Jagdale have to say in their World Cup reports. The reports are never released to the media.

The BCCI working committee meeting is also expected to decide whether the team needs a foreign coach or an Indian one, though it is not listed in the agenda sent out to the members of the committee.

'The meeting has a single point agenda: to discuss the team's World Cup performance,' a working committee member told IANS.

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