It began with an e-mail and has ended the same way. On Wednesday, Greg Chappell put an end to his association with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an e-mail to the BCCI brass, which, true to form, was also sent to several journalists.
“Today I informed the president of the BCCI that I would not seek an extension to my contract to coach the Indian cricket team for family and personal reasons,” wrote Chappell, ending the matter before the BCCI meet in Mumbai on Friday and Saturday could end it for him.
Given the controversial nature of his 23-month tenure and the explosive events of the past few days, his letter — which went on to thank the BCCI, the players with whom he had worked and been “challenged” by, the media for “constantly forcing” him to question himself, his support staff, family, friends and the people of India — was remarkably insipid.
The timing of Chappell’s decision — just two days after he said he would not quit — was probably triggered by Sachin Tendulkar’s reported comments against him in a national daily (comments that Tendulkar later denied in a television interview). But BCCI officials believe it was on the cards.
“We were expecting it,” said a board official. “Given the atmosphere of mistrust in the team and the runs-in with the seniors and all that was reported, Chappell knew he couldn’t continue and then, how could he have been persisted with?”
While he will still present a report to the BCCI on Friday, sources indicated that given the mild tenor of his e-mail and his wanting to continue his “contact with India in the coming years”, it was unlikely that his report will contain the expected explosions. “It will be surprising if Chappell blames individuals,” said a BCCI official. “He has faced considerable humiliation and will probably keep details for his planned book on his tenure here.”
Who will be India’s next coach? an indian or a foreigner?
Dave Whatmore: Bangladesh coach. Low-profile, successful, interested. But is the BCCI interested?
Sunil Gavaskar: Possible interim coach? But may refuse because of his media commitments
John Buchanan: Australia coach. Low-profile, very successful. But says he wants a break from coaching
Mohinder Amarnath/Sandeep Patil: Other Indians in with a chance. But constant appearances on TV might go against them
Tom Moody: Sri Lanka coach. Young, successful, low-profile. But will he be interested after having lost out to Chappell in 2005?
Viv Richards: Has expressed interest. But a section of the BCCI is opposed to making a high-profile appointment. Fear: ego clashes