By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) With Virat Kohli making his displeasure known over the travel plans of the Indian team from Bengaluru to Auckland, former IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla backed the skipper and pulled up the Committee of Administrators (CoA) for planning the schedule without keeping the interest of the players in mind. But the criticism hasn’t gone down well with members in the disbanded committee.
Speaking to IANS, a source in the CoA said that the Future Tour Programme (FTP) was discussed with the skipper, coach Ravi Shastri as well as Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a meeting in the national capital and to suddenly bring this up now doesn’t make much sense.
“It has come as a surprise to us because the FTP was clearly discussed with Kohli, Shastri and Dhoni in Delhi. The CoA didn’t decide the FTP. The trio was given a proper presentation with special emphasis on the number of T20Is they will play since 2020 is the year of the World T20. No questions were raised during that meeting about the dates of the games in New Zealand.
“I am sure they did understand that if they are playing the opening game on January 24, they would need to reach a few days in advance and acclimatise. They were also aware as to when the Australia series was going to end. Don’t know where this has come up from now,” the source said.
The Indian players are mostly on the road these days thanks to the hectic calendar and no sooner did they play their last ODI game against Australia in Bengaluru on Sunday, they flew off to New Zealand for the next series the very next day.
Addressing the media ahead of the opening T20I at Eden Park, Kohli said that it was coming to a scenario where players were landing at the stadium from one series to the other.
“It’s getting closer and closer to landing at the stadium straight. That’s how compressed the gap has become. This kind of travelling to a place that is seven and a half hours ahead of IST is difficult to adjust immediately. Hopefully, this will be taken into consideration in the future,” he pointed.
“But this is the year of the World Cup and every T20 is important. So we can’t lose our focus.”
“I agree with Virat Kohli that calendar is too hectic. There should not be back to back matches and series as well. Players must get some rest and also enough time to get acclimatised. CoA should have kept this in mind before finalising the schedule,” Shukla tweeted on Friday tagging the BCCI.