Indian cricketers were conspicuous by their absence at the ICC Annual Awards with the team manager claiming that the invitation came far too late even though a few of the side’s players were there in the list of nominees.

The most prestigious annual cricketing function of the year was given a complete miss by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men who were staying at a negligible distance from the venue of the function held last night.

Indian team manager Shivlal Yadav expressed his helplessness, stating he was informed only at 12 noon by an ICC communication officer by which time “the players were already away, some shopping, some sight-seeing as this was their final day of stay in London.”

The clarification from the ICC was that a mail to this effect had already been sent to the BCCI, much in advance on August 26.

“The Indian team management had been invited to attend tonight and they were invited some weeks ago. Those who were nominated for awards have known it since 26th of August, in Canterbury, when the short-listed names for the awards were announced,” said ICC Communication Officer Colin Gibson.

The ICC sources said they have evidence by mail which confirms that the BCCI was aware of the function and had also agreed that the Indian team would attend it.

“If it wasn’t so, the Indian team ought to have left for Cardiff (the venue of the final one-dayer) today itself and not stayed back in London on Monday,” said an ICC spokesman.

“The fact that their schedule included a stay in London on Monday confirms they know it. I don’t know whether the team was advised to attend it. They had been invited some weeks ago, end of August. The whole team was invited on August 26,” he added.

Rajiv Shukla, a senior functionary of the BCCI who attended the function, wasn’t aware that the Indian team wouldn’t be turning up for the function.

“I thought those who have been nominated would be attending the function,” said Shukla.

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