In many ways, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's pre-departure press conference in Mumbai a couple of days back perfectly microcosmed the attitude of the cricketing world towards the Champions Trophy.
Infamously called the 'unwanted child' of world cricket by Malcolm Speed, the former CEO of the International Cricket Council, the Champions Trophy is now tottering on its last legs. The seventh edition of the 50-over tournament - which has undergone several changes in both participation criterion and structure - beginning in England and Wales on June 6 will be the last Champions Trophy. A novel concept aimed at bolstering the coffers of the ICC, with the singular aim of helping cricket development in the 'lesser' countries, has somehow been allowed to die a natural death, the proliferation and success of the Twenty20 format claiming its first, unsung victim.
No sooner did he arrive for the press conference in Mumbai than Dhoni whipped off his India blazer, choosing to front up to the media in his splendid white shirt. In these days when every gesture has to be interpreted, sniggers that 'he was feeling the heat' were inevitable. If Dhoni was indeed feeling the heat, he did a wonderful job of concealing it.