x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Captain Dhoni to break silence on IPL spot-fixing in due time

Indian skipper hopes side can deliver at the Champions Trophy and lift gloom post the scandal.

MS Dhoni, the India captain, refused to be drawn into the discussion of the corruption in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but claimed that there were "mentally weak" individuals in all sports.

The sixth edition of the tournament, has been dogged by controversy, with Indian police making a spate of arrests for spot-fixing and illegal betting.

Three Rajasthan Royals players were among those arrested, while the chief executive of the Indian cricket board, N Srinivasan, has faced calls for his resignation after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was also arrested. Meiyappan and N Srinivasan are major stakeholders of Chennai Super Kings, also captained by Dhoni.

Arriving in Birmingham for the Champions Trophy, Dhoni said at a news conference: "It's good to be out of there."

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, you'll still find people who will be slightly mentally weak compared to 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, 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.

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

"If you look at the positives 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, which means most of the players are in touch and are in good rhythm."

Pakistan's warm-up against Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Thursday at Edgbaston.

Pakistan's last chance to practice before the tournament comes against South Africa at The Oval on Monday.