During the press conference after India’s defeat to Sri Lanka, Dhoni said the following:
“The IPL is not just about cricket,” Dhoni said, towards the end of his press conference in St Lucia. “There are lots of things going around it,” he added, as a sudden hush descended on the hall.
“The players have to respect the body, give it time to recover. There have been day-night matches, then parties, and early morning flights too. All this, including the travel, takes a toll. But if you are smart, I don’t think 45 days of cricket will drain you,” he said.
This is from the Times of India, under the incredibly ludicrous, misleading headline: “IPL parties pooped us: Dhoni’s bouncer leaves board fuming.” The article quotes a number of Indian cricket’s has-beens and nobodies (Madan Lal; Mohammad Azharuddin; some guy called Syed Kirmani. This is Lal:
Who was forcing them (players) to attend these IPL parties? They could have said ‘no’. I don’t think they should say all this. These are silly excuses. The fact is they had gone there to win the World Cup and they just weren’t good enough.”
Here’s what’s wrong with this picture: first, it’s completely wrong to suggest that Dhoni said IPL parties led to India’s defeat. (In fact, on numerous other occasions, he’s explicitly stated the opposite.) Second, even if you look at his quote, he said the IPL as a whole (the day-night matches, the long trips around the country, the parties, included) takes a toll. There. A commonsense answer. Leave it alone.