The members of Indian cricket team during the Greg Chappell era, in the past 24 hours have come out and lashed out on the former Aussie batsman who tried to ruin Indian Cricket. This all began when few quotes from Sachin Tendulkar’s auto-Biography “Playing It My Way” was revealed out.
Here is the compilation of what the Indian cricketers had to say on Greg Chappell.
First let’s begin with Sachin Tendulkar’s version
“Just months before the World Cup, Chappell had come to see me at home and, to my dismay, suggested that I should take over the captaincy from Rahul Dravid. Anjali, who was sitting with me was equally shocked to hear him say that ‘together, we could control Indian cricket for year’, and that he would help me in taking over the reins of the side.”
“I was surprised to hear the coach not showing the slightest amount of respect for the captain, with cricket’s biggest tournament just months away. So disgusted was I with Chappell’s suggestion that a few days after the episode I suggested to the BCCI that the best option would be to keep Greg back in India and not send him with the team to the World Cup. He is more of a Ring Master as he implemented his views on the players and was also fragile on occasions.”
It’s the turn of Sourav Ganguly, who had a sour relationship with Chappell:
“I really don’t want to go back to that period, you have seen it in the results. (It was) one of worst phases of Indian cricket and worst phase a cricketer can go through, especially someone like me. There were lies after lies and six months later he wanted Rahul removed and Sachin as captain. This goes on to show how the man went about his job. I was not surprised to see India not qualifying for the next round (in 2007 World Cup).”
“When I came back to the team, I had spoken to Dravid about that much later and told him that these were the things going on. He said he knew it all but ‘couldn’t control Greg.”
Dravid to be removed as captain? I haven’t heard about that before. This must be closed door discussion between Chappell and Sachin. But I presume it is true and I think it is absolutely ridiculous. He said Chappell was someone who could not be trusted. I lost my captaincy in 2005 November-December and World Cup was in early 2007. Rahul became the captain. And another eight months’ time, he needed another captain in Sachin. It goes to show his thoughts, goes to show what damage he has done to Indian cricket, goes to show the character of the man. He is someone who cannot be trusted whether it’s Ganguly, Dravid or Tendulkar.”
Pacer Zaheer Khan too joins the club and bashes Chappell as he said:
“After he was appointed the coach of the Indian team, he once came upto me and told ‘Zaheer, you will not be playing for India till I remain the coach. I was so taken aback that I couldn’t react for some time. I was totally zapped. Like what do I do now? Do I revolt? Do I speak to the captain about what’s happening? Do I take his comments at face value? Why is he taking it on me? This man had agendas and was getting personal. He had his set ideas and if you didn’t fall in line, then you have to be prepared to fall by the wayside. He tried to finish my career but I believe I came back even stronger in South Africa during the end of 2006.”
“He had some issues with the senior guys in the team. He tried many ways to stop my comeback into the Indian team during the phase when I was out of the team for nearly a year. I came to know later that every time when my name was discussed, he (Chappell) would find means to delay my comeback by 3-4 months. Zaheer said it was a difficult phase but the primary challenge was to shed off the negativity and move on with work in hand. I made a good comeback in South Africa as I decided to put all the negativity that came as a package with Chappell behind me and perform. I didn’t want to get insecure. You have to understand one thing. A happy bunch wins you matches. We were not a happy bunch. It was a team where someone was using his personal likes and dislikes to control the environment.”
“When I came back, Chappell was there for another around four months till the World Cup. Well, we didn’t have many interactions with him during that time but I could realise that I was winning the battle and he was fighting for a lost cause. Also, why only Indian cricketers, why don’t you guys go and ask the current lot of Aussie cricketers about what exactly they feel about Chappell. I can bet that it won’t be much different from what we are saying.”
“I was fired up seeing Chappell in the opposition dressing room. Chappell had come as a consultant of Cricket Australia during that tour. I can say from a personal point of view that I was really fired up and gave it my all. The anger of that phase egged me on to do well and prove a point to Chappell.”
Harbhajan Singh, who was in and out of the team during that period too spoke on this issue and accused Chappell for creating fights in the dressing room. He said:
“He had spoiled the atmosphere, implement a ‘divide and rule policy’. He would instigate fights between us so that he would be able to do what he wanted. He would trigger misunderstanding between us by telling us ‘this player was saying this against you’, when in fact, that player wouldn’t have said anything. He hated it if we asked him questions. He would say something to us, and then say something entirely different to the media. He was a double-faced man. What Sachin has written about him is absolutely true.”
Finally, it’s the turn of India’s most stylish batsman VVS Laxman to give his views on the players. He added that
“Chappell took Indian cricket backwards. This happened in 2006 at the Wankhede Stadium when India played vs England. Yuvraj Singh was picked ahead of me. We were going to the West Indies for a four-Test series after that and he asked me if I would open. I mentioned in 2000 I had decided I would not open anymore after it didn’t work for me in the first four years. I was consistent in the middle order. Chappell asked me my age and said – Don’t you think 31 is too young an age to sit at home? I had a very good run under him. I was the second highest run scorer under him”
But India’s captain during that time Rahul Dravid played it safe by saying “I am yet to read the book. I will answer once i read it.”
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