Time to speak up, Mr Dhoni

The India captain has skirted answering questions on the IPL scandal multiple times saying he'll reveal his views at the "right time". But, isn't that time now?



Mahendra Singh Dhoni couldn't have chosen a worse time to follow the phrase 'Silence is Golden' to the letter. There's a scandal-tainted tsunami of large proportions that threatens to sweep away the foundations of Indian cricket, but the captain of the national cricket team instead of expressing his thoughts to disenchanted fans opts to follow the orders of the BCCI, or rather most likely that of Indian cricket board president N Srinivasan, not once but four times.

Dhoni, who is also captain of Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, one of the franchises in the centre of the controversy, skipped two media interactions before and after the final of the cash-rich Twenty20 league, and, steadfastly refused to answer questions on the spot-fixing and betting scandal at a press conference ahead of the Indian team's departure to England for the 2013 Champions Trophy. If anyone thought Dhoni would address the issue head on after reaching England, there was further cause for disappointment as he skirted the issue yet again and made the grand promise to reveal his views at the "right time".

The "right time" as Dhoni puts it is now, and if the Indian captain doesn't get that, he is obviously fooling himself and he made matters worse by making some ridiculous statements at a news conference in Birmingham that seem to indicate he is cut away from reality and the seriousness of the situation.

Dhoni mum on spot-fixing issue
Dhoni sidesteps IPL row again
Revolt in BCCI as Jagdale, Shirke resign

Sample this: "It's not that the reputation (of Indian cricket) is gone. When the right time comes I'll answer (more thoroughly), but as of now I don't think we have lost reputation because whatever the set-up will be throughout the world or in any sport, still you'll have people who will be slightly mentally weak compared to some of the others."

Dhoni goes on to add, "I would love to elaborate but at the right time I'll do it. I just want to keep our side away from everything as of now."

Dhoni would have done himself a favour had he said nothing on the issue as he has been doing since the scandal broke. Instead, he went ahead and made the rather unbelievable statement of the controversy not denting the reputation of Indian cricket. Well, Dhoni, the fact of the matter is that this scandal has not only harmed Indian cricket's reputation, but also made it the laughing stock of the cricketing world, and for India's captain to feel otherwise is a smack in the face of fans in cricket-crazy India.

Dhoni has also said he wants to keep the team away from the scandal as India prepares for the Champions Trophy, but surely with skeletons tumbling out of the closet with each passing day and in this age of social media, it is unlikely that the Indian squad in England aren't aware of the developments back home. At least some of these cricketers would have and will discuss the situation with each other, so that excuse of Dhoni doesn't hold good either.
 
Back in 2000, when Indian cricket was in the middle of the match-fixing scandal, then India captain Sourav Ganguly addressed the issue head on ahead of the ICC Knockout tournament that year, and expressed his opinions in the direct manner that he would come to be associated with for the rest of his captaincy stint. Ganguly rallied his troops after admitting to the ills that dogged Indian cricket at the time. Dhoni should have emulated Ganguly despite the BCCI's gag order and said something that would have given hope to the Indian cricket fan that the captain of the reigning World champions is as concerned, embarrassed and hurt by the depth and potential ramifications of the scandal as they are.

Not to forget that Dhoni's franchise Chennai Super Kings is mired deep in the scandal as Gurunath Meiyappan, BCCI president N Srinivasan's son-in-law and an executive at the team, is alleged to have placed bets on IPL matches; and as CSK are owned by Srinivasan's India Cements, the ownership of the franchise itself has come under fresh scrutiny.

Dhoni could have opted not to answer (not that he would have been allowed to) these important questions had he only been Chennai Super Kings captain, but as captain of the India team, he is expected to address heads-on the issues that face Indian cricket in public and provide meaningful explanations when sought out on such matters. By choosing not to answer questions that concern the biggest scandal to have rocked Indian cricket in recent years, or sniggering and attempting to make light this sordid saga, Dhoni is doing disservice not only to his office but also to the fans and cricket itself. 

Sachin Tendulkar on Friday finally broke his silence on the scandal as he expressed his "shock and disappointment" over the developments in the last two weeks. Isn't it surprising that it took Tendulkar all of two weeks to be shocked by the IPL scandal? BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke resigned from their positions on Friday evening as the pressure piled on Srinivasan to step down from the post of board president in the aftermath of the scandal.

The million dollar question is if Dhoni at least now will break ranks with the bosses and state his opinion as well as take a stand on the scandal. And, if he doesn't, the least that Dhoni could do is avoid making comical statements like "It's not that the reputation (of Indian cricket) is gone."

Well, skipper, that reputation certainly is gone, and pretending otherwise isn't going to help anyone!


[CYCSPL]

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

On Now: Chennai vs Punjab

MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat at Abu Dhabi. More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

Trott to take 'immediate break' from cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »