In right spirit, Bell answers call for Dhoni

In right spirit, Bell answers call for Dhoni

 Unlike the last time around when India won a chunk of the ICC awards, including the Cricketer of the Year for Sachin Tendulkar, the reigning world champions weren’t expected to take home many trophies this time. But their absence from the event here on Monday evening had nothing to do with them having less chances of winning the awards.

Even as the smartly dressed English players and other nominees made their way to the programme, the absence of the Indian players was conspicuous despite the team stationed very much in London.

“We didn’t get the invitation till this afternoon,” Indian team manager Shivalal Yadav told Deccan Herald.

“I got a call from somebody in the ICC this afternoon to attend the awards, but I conveyed the person our inability to make it to the function. It’s a rest day for us and we had already planned our programme for the day. It was too late to make ourselves available for the event,” Yadav explained.

ICC stand

An ICC official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the invite had already been sent to the Board of Control for Cricket in India well in advance and they had no obligation of informing about the same to the team present here. If so, why the call from the ICC went to the Indian team manager wasn’t clear.

The absence of the Indian team became more glaring when Dhoni was named the winner of the Spirit of Cricket award.

 Presenter Ravi Shastri said: “Unfortunately Dhoni is not here and so I will call Ian Bell (who was the beneficiary of Dhoni’s sporting spirit during the second Test at Trent Bridge) to come up and accept the award on behalf of Dhoni.”

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