Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dhoni, Flower caught in war of words

Mumbai: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and England coach Andy Flower are caught in a war of words on the spirit with which the current ODI cricket series is being played between the two sides.
Having sealed the series 3-0, with two matches left, Dhoni said England's language had overstepped the mark, with each other as well as his own team. Dhoni also added that while nobody minds "a bit of chit-chat" during play, England had allowed it to become too personal.
Flower, however, took a very different view and said: "I am very proud of our record and the way we conduct ourselves in international cricket and we generally set very high standards. As a principle, we try to focus on doing our jobs well and we refrain from making moral judgements about the opposition."
In the Delhi ODI last Sunday, tempers frayed and it prompted Sri Lankan match referee Roshan Mahanama to speak to the captains and managements of both sides. In Mohali, Tim Bresnan was fined 250 pounds for showing dissent towards umpire Sudhir Asnani by snatching his cap at the end of an over.
Samit Patel also faced verbal volleys from Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina but he hit back with an unbeaten 70 off only 43 balls, suggesting that those barbs bounced off him.
Flower said officials are there to ensure that sporting conduct occurs and if the game was not being played in the right way it is their job to step in.
"After the Delhi game, the match referee spoke to the captains of both sides about both sides' behaviour and I think he was right to do so. I think the behaviour of both sides in the second game could have been better," he said.
"I think one reason for our success over the past couple of years is that players set very high standards," said Flower. "They challenge each other and we try to ensure that we have a culture of openness and honesty when we review situations. I would also, however, say there is a balance to be found and sometimes we get that balance right and sometimes slightly wrong."

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