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Report card basic and bland

cricket Updated: Apr 07, 2007 16:42 IST
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After nearly a week of intense speculation and rumour after wilder rumour, charges, counter-charges and general madness, D-Day turned out to be somewhat of a damp squib. At least as far as the much-awaited Chappell-Jagdale reports went.

Both former coach Greg Chappell and selector and the Indian team manager for the World Cup, Sanjay Jagdale, kept their reports very basic and, as one Board official said, "rather bland". But, if you discount the madness of the media hype, they were more or less along expected lines.

Neither blamed any individual for India's debacle at the World Cup and both emphasised the need for youngsters in the team, especially in one-day cricket. However, it is learnt that the BCCI brass was totally unhappy with the performance of some of the players. “A few players could possibly come under the scanner on disciplinary grounds,” said a Board official. While it was being speculated that these could include Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag, no one would officially confirm this.

Said Jagdale: “I am of the opinion that the entire team, particularly our batsmen, failed in the matches youngsters should be inducted to improve our cricket.”

The statement indicated that some seniors might be living on borrowed time.

Chappell, the first to exit the venue about five minutes to noon, gave a detailed presentation on his experiences with the Indian team over nearly 23 months. He took “part-responsibility” for their poor Cup performance, pointed out shortcomings and suggested measures to improve Indian cricket.

The BCCI put an end to all speculation in sections of the media that Chappell might continue as coach. “Mr Pawar was of the opinion that Mr Greg Chappell could be associated with Indian cricket and help in the implementation of the long term plans although he is no more the coach,” said the statement.

Rahul Dravid told the BCCI he accepted responsibility on behalf of the team for their early exit. “My team left for the World Cup with high hopes but failed to do well,” he said, while offering suggestions for the improvement of Indian cricket.