Dhoni keeps his counsel

  • Last Updated: May 30 2013, 15:19 BST

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has refused to be drawn directly on claims of corruption in the Indian Premier League but admitted that there were "mentally weak" individuals in all sports.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Preparing for the Champions Trophy
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Preparing for the Champions Trophy

The sixth edition of the domestic Twenty20 tournament has been dogged by controversy, with Indian police making a spate of arrests in recent weeks as part of their investigations into illegal betting.

Three Rajasthan Royals players were among those arrested, while the chief executive of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, N Srinivasan, faced calls to stand down when his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was also taken in.

Meiyappan has links to Dhoni's IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, who released a statement last week denying he had any day-to-day involvement with the team and held only an honorary position.

Speaking at a Birmingham press conference to preview his side's Champions Trophy bid, Dhoni said: "It's good to be out of there."

But, invited to elaborate on the IPL controversies, he added: "It's not that the reputation (of Indian cricket) is gone.

"When the right time comes I'll answer (more thoroughly), but as of now I don't think we have lost reputation because whatever the set-up will be throughout the world or in any sport, still you'll have people who will be slightly mentally weak compared to some of the others.

"I would love to elaborate, but at the right time I'll do it.

"I just want to keep our side away from everything as of now."

On the field, India are in the midst of a transitional period having dispensed with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.

Fans have been critical of the side in recent months, but Dhoni is hoping for a positive time in England and Wales.

"It's an ongoing process. A few of them (fans) will ask questions and you have to silence them," he said.

"It's for us to see what kind of a squad we've got with a fresh bunch of players.

"You have to look at the positives. If you look at the positive you can say the players that have been playing in the IPL have had good exposure to international bowlers because bowlers from all over the world, they come and play in the IPL. The best that the world has to offer (play IPL) which means most of the players are in touch and are in good rhythm."

India have warm-up matches against Sri Lanka on Saturday and Australia on Tuesday before taking part in the tournament curtain-raiser against South Africa on June 6.


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