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Angry Dravid slams TV channel
Harish Kotian in Nottingham | July 28, 2007 17:05 IST
India captain Rahul Dravid [Images] came down heavily on an Indian television channel on Friday and asked them to verify the facts before running stories.
The channel in question was Times Now and Dravid was angry after the channel ran a story with regards to the Twenty20 World Cup selection, where Dravid along with Sachin Tendulkar [Images] and Sourav Ganguly [Images] were left out.
According to Times Now on Tuesday, it was the Board of Control for Cricket in India that told the India captain to opt out and also convey the message to Ganguly and Tendulkar.
But it went on to add that Dravid did not consult Tendulkar and Ganguly before agreeing to the board's call.
The Indian captain got into a heated argument with the reporter in the lobby of the team hotel in Nottingham.
"I have played over 100 Tests. Sachin and Sourav have played more than 100 Tests. Do you think I can take such a decision without asking them? This is just crazy," Dravid said.
"Why didn't you guys confirm the story with me before airing it?" he stressed.
He stressed that no such thing happened and the decision to opt out of the Twenty20 World Cup was taken in consultation with Tendulkar and Ganguly.
"If they say anything different from what I have said now, I will quit international cricket tomorrow," he declared.
"You can say I cannot bat, I cannot captain, I don't know how to field, I will not say a thing, because that is your job. But you can't just distort facts like this and produce a story," a fuming Dravid said.
However, the channel maintained its stand, saying that the story has not been made up or fabricated.
National selection committee chief Dilip Vengsarkar had also confirmed earlier this month that Dravid called him from Hove, where the touring Indian team was playing Sussex in a tour match, to say that the three senior players were opting out of the tournament, to be held in South Africa from September 11 to 24.
"I got a call from Rahul today morning who said on behalf of all the three players that they were opting out of the Twenty20 World Cup," Vengsarkar had said.
But, Ganguly, speaking to the channel before the start of the first Test at Lord's, expressed his disappointment on missing out of the Twenty20 World Cup.
"Obviously, it was tempting to participate and I was eager for the inaugural Twenty20 Championship. It is sad to opt out of any form of cricket," Times Now had quoted the left-hander as saying.
"It was a difficult decision but Rahul and Sachin had already said 'no'. I had a word with Rahul and he said it will be right to sit out," he added.
The television channel went on to say that Tendulkar too was eager to participate in the tournament 'but when the decision was made, he expressed his disapproval by not talking to Dravid at the nets session at Sussex.'
The final squad for the championship will be named on August 7.