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'If it's not life-threatening, never come off the field': Manjrekar reveals Greg Chappell once lashed out at VVS Laxman

Sanjay Manjrekar narrated an inside story from Indian cricket as to how former coach Greg Chappell had lashed out at VVS Laxman during a Test match against Zimbabwe.
Greg Chappell had given VVS Laxman a piece of his mind. (Getty Images)
Updated on May 08, 2021 01:53 PM IST
Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Sanjay Manjrekar narrated an inside story from Indian cricket as to how former India coach Greg Chappell had given VVS Laxman a piece of his mind during India's tour of Zimbabwe in 2005. Manjrekar revealed that once during a Test match in Harare, Laxman had walked off the field to receive some help on his finger, and the substitute that had replaced him on the field, put down a catch. This did not go down well with Chappell and the former Australia captain made sure he addressed Laxman on the matter.

"While a Test match was underway in Harare in Zimbabwe, Greg Chappell went for a practice session with a few substitute players. After 30-40 minutes, he was heading back to the dressing room. On the way, he saw a substitute fielder in the match dropping a catch in the slips. So the coach started wondering, why is there is a substitute on the field, and which regular has come out," Manjrekar told SportsKeeda in an exclusive chat on their show 'SK Tales'.

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"When he went inside, Greg Chappell saw that VVS Laxman was drinking coffee. So he got a bit angry and asked VVS, why he wasn’t on the field. Laxman replied that he had got injured, so came out of the field to apply some ice on the injured area."

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Chappell was known for his notorious stint with the Indian cricket team from 2005 to 2007. While his fallout with former captain Sourav Ganguly remains one of the most controversial chapters in Indian cricket, several ex-cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Laxman himself had revealed instanced which showed friction between Chappell and the players during his near two-year-long tenure with the Indian cricket team.

In certain interviews, Laxman had stated that Chappell created a rift in the Indian dressing room and did not know how to run an international team. He even pointed out that the period under Chappell was the worst in the history of Indian cricket. Coming back to the Harare incident, Manjrekar further explained how an infuriated Chappell found the substitution unacceptable and instructed Laxman that unless his injury is 'life-threatening', he should never come off the field going forward.

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"An enraged Greg Chappell rebuked Laxman and asked, was it life-threatening? Laxman was absolutely shocked thinking, what is he asking? The coach further ordered him that if it is not life-threatening, never come off the field next time. Substitution is something that normally happens a lot in Indian cricket, and other teams do it as well, " Manjrekar explained.

"However, Greg Chappell found it unacceptable. Of course, it didn't help that the substitute dropped a catch, and Greg Chappell ended up giving a senior player like Laxman a piece of his mind."

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