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Ganguly unfit to lead, says Chappell

Kolkata, September 23
In an extraordinary attack on skipper Sourav Ganguly, coach Greg Chappell has described him as “physically and mentally unfit” to continue as captain and charged him with dividing the team.

Chappell said Ganguly’s attitude was not ideal for India to strive for the 2007 World Cup and his leadership commanded almost no faith or respect from team members.

The former Australian captain, who took over as the coach from John Wright, is believed to have made these observations in a six-page e-mail to BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra.

Mahendra confirmed having received the e-mail from Chappell, but did not disclose the contents, saying it was a confidential matter.

“Yes, I have received an e-mail from Chappell. It is private and confidential. I do not want to say anything about it,” Mahendra told reporters here.

BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla also said an e-mail had come from Chappell. “But I have no knowledge about its contents. I think the media should not speculate about it.”

Ganguly was quoted in a newspaper report as having said, “I have heard of the e-mail. Whatever I have to say, I will tell the board. I hope the board officials will call me.”

Till today, no coach anywhere in the world had ever levelled written charges against a captain and the latest development added a sensational twist to the ongoing spat between the captain and the coach.

Chappell, it is understood, had made six observations against Ganguly who had been struggling to come out of a prolonged form slump.

The six observations are believed to be on the following lines:

  • Ganguly is so interested in keeping his captaincy that he has always been creating differences among team members.
  • He has no physical or mental fitness to continue as captain.
  • His leadership commands almost no faith or respect from team members.
  • Ganguly complains mostly of imaginary injuries.
  • Ganguly’s attitude is not in the least ideal for India to strive for the 2007 World Cup or a better cricketing future.
  • He does not follow the fitness regime prescribed to him.

The report about the e-mail appeared this morning in a Bengali daily ‘Ananda Bazar Patrika’.

Chappell’s e-mail came barely a week after Ganguly’s sensational disclosure that he had been asked by the coach to step down as captain before the Test series against Zimbabwe, a development which had caused a flutter in the cricketing fraternity.

Chappell’s missive came shortly after India recorded their first series win outside the subcontinent in 19 years when they crushed Zimbabwe by 10 wickets for a 2-0 Test series triumph.

Although Chappell and Ganguly were known to be close to each other, their relationship soured to some extent after the Australian great took over as coach.

Ganguly’s repeated failure with the bat and the team’s inability to win finals strained the relationship further.

It reached a flashpoint just before the Test series when the spat between the coach and the captain came into the open, with Ganguly disclosing that he was asked to step down, at a press conference.

The Bengal left-hander had responded with a painstaking century in the Bulawayo Test as a debate raged in the country on whether dressing room discussions should come out in the media.

Chappell then issued a handwritten statement ahead of the second Test in Harare, where he professed his utmost respect for Ganguly and said he was looking forward to working with him in the future.

Chappell’s statement and his public bonhomie with Ganguly was apparently done at the behest of the cricket board, which was keen to ensure that the public spat did not distract the team.

But Chappell’s latest missive had made it clear that the rift between him and Ganguly was far from over. — PTI



Mahendra to meet Chappell, Ganguly
Our Correspondent

Kolkata, September 23
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Ranbir Singh Mahendra announced today the he would call captain Sourav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell for a meeting after their return from Zimbabwe to settle their dispute.

Mr Mahendra felt that there had been some misunderstanding, which he hoped could be sorted out.


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