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Sachin calls autobiography his second innings, gives first copy to his mother

Cricket fans would be keen on delving into Sachin Tendulkar’s mind, knowing of his skills, great rivals and more, but the Greg Chappell saga has dominated mind space much like the batsman used to occupy the crease.

cricket Updated: Nov 05, 2014 20:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Sachin Tendulkar autobiography,Greg Chappell,Rahul Dravid

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday gave the first copy of his autobigraphy 'Playing it My Way' to his mother just ahead of a high profile launch in Mumbai.

"Gave the first copy of my book to my mother. Look of pride on her face was a priceless moment!" Tendulkar said on his Facebook page and Twitter profile.

The now-retired batsman also posted a picture of himself with his mother, who is seen smiling on receiving the book.

"It took me three years to write this book. I want people to know how my life has been, " Sachin said in a message telecast on Star Sports.

Calling it the second innings of his life, Sachin added," I owe it to people across the world who supported me. This is a sincere effort."

Tendulkar’s revelations in Playing It My Way on Greg Chappell has already dominated mind space much like the great batsman used to occupy the crease.

The appetiser of sorts — when fans would also be salivating over how the brain of the man with the most international centuries, runs and a massive 24-year career ticked — has triggered interest in more possible revelations on the man from Down Under who had an abrasive coaching stint in India.

Following the launch event (it begins at 5pm) in Mumbai, all eyes will be on more inside dope on the Australian, who has rejected Tendulkar’s claims that he tried to topple Rahul Dravid as captain. What’s more, he wanted Tendulkar to take over.

Chappell said he was stunned by the claims. “Whilst I don't propose to get into a war of words, I can state quite clearly that during my time as Indian coach I never contemplated Sachin replacing Rahul Dravid as captain,” he said in a statement.

Other Indian players — past and present — have, however, waded into the picture, backing Tendulkar’s scathing attack on Chappell, who was a fabulous batsman himself.

Apart from Sourav Ganguly, who had a particularly testy relationship with Chappell, VVS Laxman, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have also hit out at the Australian.

Sachin’s words vs Chappell’s

In his autobiography, Tendulkar has claimed Chappell visited his house and tried to convince him to take over the captaincy from Dravid barely a few months before the 2007 World Cup.

But Chappell said he was stunned by the claims. Even as he clarified he did not want to get into a war of words, Chappell said, "I was therefore very surprised to read the claims made in the book. During those years, I only ever visited Sachin's home once, and that was with our physio and assistant coach during Sachin's rehabilitation from injury, at least 12 months earlier than what was reported in the book."

Chappell said he enjoyed a pleasant afternoon at Tendulkar's home and the captaincy issue never came up for discussion.

Tendulkar, however, said he was shocked by Chappell's suggestion and the lack of respect shown to Dravid.

Tendulkar is scathing in his criticism of Chappell, who was the national coach from 2005 to 2007, describing him as a "ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not".

Laxman, Zaheer and Harbhajan have supported Tendulkar's version of the events, stating they too had been victims of Chappell's dictatorial style of functioning.

While Zaheer claimed that Chappell tried his best his to prevent his comeback into the national team, Harbhajan said the Australian "temporarily destroyed Indian cricket" and targeted senior players.

File Photo: Sachin Tendulkar and Greg Chappell during a practice session in Chennai. (PTI Photo)

Laxman said the Australian took "Indian cricket backwards" during his two-year tenure as the national cricket team's coach.
Harbhajan was even more brutal. “Chappell destroyed Indian cricket to such an extent that it required at least three years to again get back on track. The worst part was some players in that team, who sucked up to the coach and would supply selective misinformation, (were) creating bigger rifts."

Harbhajan also claimed that Chappell was writing a damaging email to the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI) about Ganguly when India were in the midst of a Test match against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

"Sourav was batting out there in the middle and this man was typing a critical email against Sourav, sitting right there in that dressing room. He had no interest in the proceedings of the match," he recalled.

"There were seven guys that he wanted to get rid of. Sourav was his primary target followed by myself, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh," claimed Harbhajan, India's third highest wicket-taker in Tests.

First Published: Nov 05, 2014 12:31 IST