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BCCI furious over Chappell's charges

cricket Updated: Nov 16, 2007 00:42 IST
K Kumaraswamy
K Kumaraswamy
Hindustan Times
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Niranjan Shah, the Indian cricket board secretary, dismissed Greg Chappell’s allegations as frivolous. Chappell, who was the coach of the Indian team from 2005 to the World Cup this year, has said in a television documentary – “Guru Greg” – in Australia that he was sure India's World Cup campaign would end in disaster as it was a “flawed group” without any youngsters. The 58-year old former Australian captain said the composition of the team was such that it never was in the reckoning for the title. Shah’s immediate reaction was one of contempt. “Log bakwaas bolte rahenge (people will talk rubbish), why should we react to it?” he said.

Asked specifically if the Board resisted bringing in youngsters as alleged by Chappell, Shah said, "The Board doesn’t get involved in selection. It is the decision of the selection committee." He refuted the Australian’s charge that the inclusion of "old players" resulted in the team’s early exit. "We were unlucky. We lost the first match and then didn’t make it," he said.
Chappell speak in Oz media

"From an Indian cultural point of view, if you do someone a favour then they owe you for life…. Sourav may have thought that was the way it is...."(On his battle with Ganguly)

"We came here with a flawed group and got results we deserved… The BCCI might be happy to sack the lot of us and move on." (Post the World Cup exit)

"We tried to change the team. To move away from an old based team, to get some young legs and strong arms as well as some good batting and bowling. But unfortunately it’s been resisted from within the team." (Before the Caribbean event)

Shah said that a coach might agree or disagree with the team picked, but what mattered was the decision of the selectors. “Everybody has an opinion, but the decision of the selection committee is final,” the BCCI Secretary said.

Chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar could not be contacted.

Vengsarkar’s predecessor Kiran More refused to react to Chappell’s comments but felt that selectors should have the team’s future in mind while they make any decision. “The same team (that played in the World Cup) is playing now. Only Rahul Dravid and Munaf Patel are not there,” he said.

“The one question I want to pose to the selectors is this. The team that is playing against Pakistan, is it going to play the next World Cup? It is nice to win against Pakistan, but are we looking at the future? The only good thing about this team is that there are four youngsters in the team, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, RP Singh and Irfan Pathan. These four should have been played in the World Cup, having included them in the squad (Uthappa did play in the World Cup). I think that is one of the reasons why we didn’t do well at the World Cup.”