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Chappell faces demonstration in Kolkata

Chappell faced the demonstration after emerging from a cricket coaching centre in south Kolkata, where he had gone amidst tight security.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAR 15, 2008 05:37 PM IST

The discontent against former Indian coach Greg Chappell over his bad blood with local hero Sourav Ganguly today made him face a demonstration here when he was on a talent hunt.

Chappell, the director of the Cricket Star and Rajasthan Cricket Academy, here on a talent hunt launched by 'Emerging Media', the owners of the Jaipur IPL team Rajasthan Royals, ironically chose a young protege of Ganguly's cricket academy.

Chappell faced the demonstration after emerging from a cricket coaching centre in south Kolkata, where he had gone amidst tight security.

The demonstrators, all from Ganguly's neighbourhood, carried posters 'Go back Chappell' and 'Chappell quit city' and shouted slogans.

"He conspired against Sourav. We don't want him here. Our protest is as much against him as against those who have brought him here," said one of the demonstrators.

There was, however, a good response to the talent hunt with 487 applicants from West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh turning up to present their mettle before the legendary cricketer.

Chappell short-listed eight batsmen and 12 bowlers, as also two wicket-keepers after the first round.

After the second round, Chappell chose three youngsters - wicket-keeper batsmen Adil Imam and Suvaankoor Das and leg spinner Manas Muduli - who would now attend the final selection trial at the Rajasthan Cricket Academy in Jaipur.

The 18-year-old Imam from Bihar is a product of Ganguly's academy in Salt Lake. The other two are from Orissa.

Chappell said the selection trial would be held from March 21 to 31 from which one would find a place in the Rajasthan Royals.

Asked if he was satisfied with the talent he saw here, Chappell said, "I'm happy."

Some of the youngsters, despite failing to make the grade, were happy after receiving batting tips from the former Australian captain.

Amarjit Singh, one of the applicants who came all the way from Rudrapur in UP, was, however, upset.

"I spent Rs 20,000 for my travel and accommodation, but I was allowed knocking for only seven balls. Then I was rejected," said the young batsman.

Sukhwinder Singh, also from Rudrapur, complained that he was allowed to bowl only one delivery before he was asked to leave.

Chappell's relations with the city soured after he advised Ganguly to step down from captaincy in Zimbabwe in 2005 and later shot off a strongly-worded email to BCCI with a litany of complaints.

He was booed by the Eden gardens crowd during India's one-day engagement against South Africa in 2006 and was caught on camera making an apparently obscene gesture with his finger.

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