Board games to chart road ahead
Did coach Chappell refer to senior players as ‘mafia’? What are Jagdale’s views? BCCI gears up to lend an ear to all parties, reports G Krishnan.cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2007 05:35 IST
Friday's meeting between the Indian Cricket Board top brass and the team representatives to discuss the World Cup debacle will be akin to the Special Committee meeting on September 27, 2005. That meeting discussed the way forward after Greg Chappell, back from the Zimbabwe tour, hit out at then captain Sourav Ganguly through that infamous email.
On Friday, Chappell, whose contract ended with the World Cup and who on Wednesday told the BCCI that he did not wish his contract to be extended, will be heard on his much-publicised, much-leaked report on the differences in the team.
While Rahul Dravid will also air his views, as also chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar, it is tour manager Sanjay Jagdale's report that will make the BCCI think.
Jagdale, who is also the Central Zone selector, prefers to keep a low profile and eschew controversy. It is expected that his will be a fair report. The BCCI would be keen to know if the differences between the seniors and juniors really existed. One of the junior players, refusing to be named, told HT that no such differences existed.
"I do not know what Greg wrote in his reports… Right now it just seems to be mere speculation," the player said. "Considering his great record as a player, and his status in world cricket, I doubt if he wrote such a report. As a junior, I did not feel let down by the seniors. Obviously, the seniors were really upset after the loss to Bangladesh as it was going to be the last World Cup for most of them."
There have been allegations that the seniors were playing only for personal records; there has been speculation that messages were sent to Sourav Ganguly to accelerate the scoring against Bangladesh (he made 66 off 129 balls), that Yuvraj (47 off 58) put self above team in the same game.
Friday will also see the BCCI office-bearers meeting some of the former India captains to discuss ways to improve cricket in the country. The need to improve domestic tournaments in all aspects, the quality of pitches, and umpiring standards will figure in the discussions, among other issues.
A decision on who will succeed Chappell as the coach will also have to be made. Whether it will be an Indian or a foreigner, whether the BCCI will settle for a stop-gap arrangement before finalising on a candidate for the long run will have to be decided soon as India are to tour Bangladesh for a two-Test, three-ODI series from May 10.
After the September 27, 2005, meeting, the BCCI had decided that Indian cricket has a long way to go, and that the performances of the players and the coach will be critical in that journey. But going by the chain of events after that, Indian cricket has taken a few steps backward.