Ganguly is unfit to lead India, says coach Chappell
NEW DELHI: India’s cricket coach Greg Chappell believes Sourav Ganguly is no longer fit to lead the side and has threatened to quit if the captain is not changed, a cricket board source told AFP on Friday.
Chappell, the former Australian captain and batting great who took charge of the Indian team in June, sent an e-mail to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) saying Ganguly did not deserve a place in the team either, the source said. “Chappell has told the BCCI that he will find it difficult to continue if Ganguly is retained as captain,” said the source who has seen the e-mail from Zimbabwe.
“The coach believes Ganguly is not physically or mentally fit to lead and had lost the respect of the younger players in the team.” BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra confirmed he had received Chappell’s mail, but declined to reveal its contents on the pretext it was a confidential report.
Chappell’s missive came a day after India routed lowly Zimbabwe 2-0 to record their first Test series win outside the sub-continent since 1986 when they beat England. The victory took Ganguly’s record as India’s most successful Test captain to 21 wins, seven more than second-placed Mohammad Azharuddin’s tally of 14.
Both Chappell and Ganguly were flying back from Zimbabwe on Friday and were unavailable for comment. But a Kolkata-based Bengali language newspaper, Ananda Bazar Patrika, on Friday quoted Ganguly as saying he had heard about the e-mail.
“Yes I have heard about the mail,” the captain told the newspaper. “I will say whatever I want to the board. I hope the board will give me a chance to explain. “You can imagine the character of a person who within hours of a truce goes and writes such an e-mail.”
Relations between Chappell and Ganguly soured ahead of the first Test against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo last week when it was revealed the coach had asked the captain to step down because of his poor batting form. Ganguly responded by carving out a painstaking six-hour century against the weakest attack in cricket and then revealed the dressing-room discussion with the coach to the media.
Chappell issued a hand-written statement ahead of the second Test in Harare, saying his efforts to motivate Ganguly had been misinterpreted as a call for the batsman to stand down as captain. “It is disappointing that what was a private discussion between the captain and myself has become a cause of public speculation,” Chappell said. “It was a frank discussion about Indian cricket, present and future, and much of what I said was aimed at motivating Sourav for the Test. Ganguly’s 101 at Bulawayo was his first international century since the 144 against Australia at Brisbane in November 2003. After the revelations, newspapers splashed staged pictures of Chappell and Ganguly playing pool in the team hotel and greeting each other with a warm handshake before practice at the Harare sports club. afp