Former India batsman and coach Sandeep Patil said on Monday that he had been misquoted by a section of the media with regard to Sunil Gavaskar's position on Greg Chappell's appointment as the Indian coach.
Patil told the Hindustan Times that he had been misquoted as having said that, “Gavaskar opposed Chappell’s candidature” in an interview with a Hindi news channel.
“Sunil Gavaskar was not in favour of a foreign coach, he was not against Greg Chappell specifically,” Patil said.
“This too is something I learnt on my own, discussing the game with friends. Sunil himself never discussed it with me, which I told the channel.”
Gavaskar was part of a six-member panel that interviewed Chappell and three others — Desmond Haynes of the West Indies, Australia’s Tom Moody and India’s Mohinder Amarnath — for the post of the coach, left vacant after the exit of New Zealand’s John Wright in May 2005. The interview panel included two other former Indian captains, S Venkataraghavan and Ravi Shastri.
The interviews were convened by the then BCCI secretary, SK Nair. Asked over the phone on Monday whether Gavaskar opposed Chappell’s or any foreigner’s candidature, Nair said, “I cannot disclose these details. It is an understanding among the panelists that the details of the interviews and the meetings would not be made public. It will not be correct on my part to disclose these details.”
Questions have been asked in the past over the necessity of a foreign coach. But the timing of Patil’s statement could stir up another debate, more so if Chappell’s strategies fail to get the desired results.