Thursday, April 05, 2007


Greg Chappell Saga: Pull No Punches


"Mr Chappell should pack his bag and quietly f***-off. He has ruined our cricket enough." Please note the quotation marks around the previous sentence. In this highly charged environment where any, and every, word has the potential to be taken out of contest, "one of the most senior" BCCI officials has left us in no mystery as to how he really feels.

The quote was taken after Chappell had sent off a mass email that also doubled as his express wish to not be considered for the post of Indian coach. Two things struck me about the quote:

  1. The speaker obviously thought highly enough of Greg Chappell to refer to him as "Mister"; yet
  2. He didn't realise that Chappell had effectively packed his bags and proverbially f'ed off - that is what the email was for, right?

Nobody knows what Greg Chappell did or didn't do to incite such impassioned reactions from people that he has been working with recently. Off the record quotes are doing the rounds about his "strange way" of working with the players and his lack of sensitivity for the Indian way (apparently the Chappell way was all he knew) of doing things. In another cowardly act, a member of the Indian "think tank" has offered that, in his opinion, Chappell had no man-management skills.

I am not always a believer of this phrase, but in this instance I can offer no alternative explanation; it seems that this must be another case of 'where there's smoke, there's fire'.

It seems blatantly obvious to me that the environment within the Indian camp was of many bulls with big horns trying to play a futile game of oneupmanship. Every superstar has his ego and Chappell undoubtedly had his too. It was an situation ripe for failure. True to Indian form, failure turned into a downright catastrophe. Let us not forget the generous hand of the immature and tactless Indian media in this whole fracas.

As far as the BCCI is concerned, there could not have been a more timely development. Its inept office bearers now have a mandate to blame the World Cup debacle on Chappell, and they will not think twice about doing so. After all, he resigned, giving us the clearest indication yet that he wishes to take full responsibility for the events that transpired, right?

Lets all prepare ourselves for the rubbish to be brushed under the carpet and the "popular" appointment of a former great as coach of India. Quite obviously, the said Former Great will have no relevant coaching experience nor will he be able explain the finer points of what it takes to successfully coach and strategise for a team to succeed in the modern international arena.

You think that this initial reliance on an expletive to explain one's emotion was a blip (no pun intended)? There's no need to keep your ears peeled to hear about the creativity with which India's deficiencies are attributed to its now former coach, for you'll be bombarded till you can find no shelter.

Chappell is not without blame in this situation, far from it. However, with his email goes any chance of the real culprits being awarded their sentences.


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