In a surprise turn of events, the media on Monday boycotted the Indian team’s press conference after the team management had sent net bowlers for an interaction. The Indian team management had sent reserve bowlers Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan and Khaleel Ahmed for the interaction, which the media felt was not appropriate. Indian Cricket Team's Home Schedule After ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: BCCI Announces Team India's Series Against South Africa and Other Teams.
With India playing their first ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 match in less than two days, the Indian media present for the arranged interaction had expected coach Ravi Shastri or at least one of the senior players to appear for the press conference but to the surprise of all, the Indian team’s media manager informed the waiting journalists that fringe players Chahar, Khan and Khaleel will be appearing for the presser. The reason cited was that both Chahar and Khan are leaving on the next day and therefore the team management felt that they should be given a chance to speak to the media.
Furious with the decision, many among the waiting journalists started protesting against the decision and got into an argument with the team manager. The manager was also informed that if the Indian team are not willing to conduct a proper press conference they can cancel it as the media finds it extremely unfair for both the waiting journalists and the three youngsters to answer questions on the Indian team, which they are not even part of.
The fact that it happened just two days before the all-important match shows that the Indian team is worried about the mental pressure and possible statements that could be made by the players, which may take a controversial turn and exert more pressure on the Indian team.
It is, however, not the first time such an incident has occurred. In a similar circumstance during the 2015 World Cup, the media was infuriated with the Indian team management for only sending the then skipper MS Dhoni to the pre and post-match press conferences. Interestingly, Dhoni would also appear after every match for the post-match conference despite the norm being to send the day’s top performer for the presser. The performer would instead be interviewed by the BCCI’s official website.
India face South Africa in their first match of CWC 2019. The Virat Kohli-led Indian team along with England are among the favourites to lift the World Cup trophy this year.