Photographs from a Hyderabad hotel aired by the television channel NewsX, has shown captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and some of his famous teammates enjoying the company of male and female admirers at a party which the channel claimed was held after India lost to Australia by three runs in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The loss put India 2-3 behind in the series before Dhoni's Indians succumbed meekly in Guwahati on Sunday to lose the home series. The seventh and final match is scheduled to be played in Navi Mumbai today.

The channel reported yesterday that the party was held within hours of the thrilling match which witnessed an epic innings of 175 from Sachin Tendulkar, whose effort went in vain due to to some careless bowling, fielding and batting by his teammates.

On a special show aired last night, channel guest Bishan Singh Bedi, the former India captain said that it was not unusual for players to let their hair down in a party. "Nothing wrong with it. After all, they are all adults," he said. But when the show host asked whether it was the right thing to do in the midst of an important series, Bedi remarked, "Now that is a big question mark."

Bedi wondered whether this was the reason why players were against the World Anti Doping Agency's whereabouts clause in the International Cricket Council's anti-doping procedure. He also seemed amazed as to how the Board was behind its players who refused to give out their whereabouts after play.

Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra and rookie Ravindra Jadeja feature in the photographs.Journalist Gulu Ezekiel, the second guest on the show, refused to slam the players for their decision to party, but was amazed how fresh they could get after an energy-sapping match. The channel identified fast bowler Pravin Kumar as a smoker at the party.

A few former players whom MiD DAY contacted said they had not seen the shots, so were in no position to comment. However, former captain Chandu Borde, who managed Indian teams in the past, the latest instance being the 2007 tour of England, felt that it was time the Board appoints a permanent manager who would ensure discipline.

At the moment, the manager's post for every tour is distributed as rewards for votes in BCCI elections. No manager is appointed for a home series.Cricket fans in Mumbai were not impressed too. Sandip Mehta, a businessman said: "Play hard, party hard but do that only after a victory. If you lose, go out for a quiet meal or better still, stay in your room and indulge in some introspection."

Ramji Dharod, a former Mumbai club cricketer, said that the most shocking aspect of the photographs shown on television was the sight of Dhoni. "If what we saw on television is true (that the cricketers attended a party after the Hyderabad defeat) then it is very sad. As captain, these public appearances don't do his image good. It doesn't send out the right kind of signals especially to your juniors," he said.

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