05
Apr
07

Indian Cricket Coach resigns

Greg Chappell brought the curtain down on a controversial tenure as India’s coach by announcing  that he would not be seeking an extension of his contract, which had ended along with India’s participation in the World Cup.

Chappell’s decision follows India’s early exit from the World Cup, and the resulting war of words in the media between Chappell and senior players. The BCCI had convened a meeting in Mumbai on Friday and Saturday to review the team’s performance in the Caribbean, and was expected to take several hard decisions.

Chappell had been asked to attend the meeting – he is in Mumbai and is likely to keep that appointment – and present a detailed report on his tenure. The past few days have seen the Indian media carry what it claimed to be extracts from Chappell’s report that were scathing of the performance of senior players. That led to reactions, again in the media, by unnamed senior players.

There is no word from the BCCI on a possible successor. India’s next assignment is a Test and one-day series in Bangladesh next month and the Board may appoint Sandeep Patil as an interim coach while scouting for a long-term prospect.

Chappell’s tenure included a record-breaking run of India winning 17 ODIs while chasing, and a Test series win in the West Indies. It saw several young players, including S Sreesanth and Dinesh Karthik, breaking through into the national side to some acclaim. But it also had its share of controversy, which appeared to stem from a hardline, no-nonsense attitude.

His tenure began with a bitter and public feud with Sourav Ganguly, who was team captain when Chappell took charge but was sacked, after Chappell suggested he sit out a match on a tour of Zimbabwe, within four months.

Ganguly returned to the national team during last year’s tour of South Africa. He was among the runs then, and ensured his selection to the World Cup side; he continued scoring in the Caribbean but the team management was apparently unhappy with his slow scoring rate.

Chappell also had a word for the people of India who followed cricket so passionately. “The people of India deserve a special mention as they are the ones whose attention, enthusiasm and love and support drive the great game, and business, of cricket in this country, and around the world,” he said. “I thank them all, especially those who have written to me and the thousands who have gone out of their way to come up to me with well wishes.”

Source: Sriharsha’s Blog

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