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Cricket Board unlikely to punish Chappell

Although BCCI is unhappy with his comments on Sourav, it is unlikely that Pawar will take any action.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2006 18:47 IST

The Indian cricket board is unlikely to take action against coach Greg Chappell for his "unwarranted comments" on former captain Sourav Ganguly in an interview to a British daily, a top official said on Thursday.

In the interview published in The Guardian of London on Wednesday, Chappell had said that Ganguly, now out of both Test and one-day sides, had been "just hanging in there" without contributing with the bat.

"Modest innings were draining him. He had no energy to give to the team, which was helping neither him nor us," Chappell told Mike Selvey in the interview.

On Ganguly's refusal to step down from captaincy, Chappell said: "He was not prepared to do that. What I didn't realise at that stage was how utterly important to his life and finances being captain was."

When contacted, Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah termed those— and other— comments of the former Australia captain as "unwarranted". He said he would soon talk to Sharad Pawar, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on the issue.

"It is not in good taste. I don't know why people make such comments," Shah said.

He said he had read the interview after Ganguly himself called him and told him about it.

The board official said: "He (Pawar) is busy with official functions involving the US President George Bush's visit in Delhi. When he is free I will speak to him. But I don't think we would take any action against him," he said.

Chappell and Ganguly, once close pals, fell apart when the coach suggested to the then India captain on the tour of Zimbabwe in September-October last year that he should relinquish the job to concentrate on batting.

Ganguly took it as an affront and told the media about it after scoring a century in the Bulawayo Test.

"I helped him with his batting then, so maybe he thought I would be his mate and support him now," said Chappell in the interview, admitting that he would not have got the coach's job without Ganguly's "influence".

"But we clashed because his needs as a struggling player and captain and those of the team were different."

Chappell also said: "...in essence I told Sourav that if he wanted to save his career he should consider giving up the captaincy. He was just hanging in there."

Chappell explained that the suggestion was "in his own interest to give himself mind space to work on his batting so that it could be resurrected."

The selectors removed Ganguly from captaincy after the Zimbabwe tour and appointed Rahul Dravid for the home series against South Africa and Sri Lanka. He was also omitted from the one-day squad, barely holding on to his place for Tests.

And for the Test series against England, Ganguly was not even picked for the ongoing first match in Nagpur, virtually signalling the end of his international career.

First Published: Mar 02, 2006 18:47 IST