Ganguly says he and Chappell can patch up

Updated on Nov 20, 2006 02:02 PM IST

The former Indian skipper says he has already forgiven coach Greg Chappell following their well-documented spat in 2005.

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None | ByIndo-Asian News Service, New Delhi

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Saturday did not rule out patching up with national coach Greg Chappell even as he asked people to give time to his successor Rahul Dravid to settle down.

While admitting that he and Chappell were "friends" earlier, Ganguly said at the Hindustan Times Summit here that he has already forgotten and forgiven former Australia captain Chappell following their well-documented spat on the 2005 tour of Zimbabwe.

"It's possible. Everything is possible," Ganguly, dressed in cream-coloured suit, said.

In a long e-mail to the then board president Jagmohan Dalmiya from Zimbabwe, Chappell had levelled several allegations against Ganguly who was leading the side on the tour but was woefully out of form.

When moderator Vir Sanghvi asked Ganguly about one of Chappell's major allegations in that e-mail, that the left-handed batsman was being divisive to the team, the former captain said that it happens "between friends".

"It happens... it happens when two friends fight. I was angry, especially when it came from someone whom you knew for quite some time," said Ganguly.

"You say lot of things when you are angry, but they may be or may not be from the heart."

Ganguly also pointed out that he had supported Chappell's name when the board was looking for a replacement for John Wright.

When Sanghvi asked him if he was ready to forget and forgive Chappell, Ganguly said: "Of course, I am ready. It's possible. Everything is possible. But I haven't met him for a long time."

Ganguly, who was replaced by Dravid as captain after the Zimbabwe tour, rooted for his successor and asked people to give him time to settle down in the job.

"We have to give time to the captain. It's the hardest job in the world," he said. "The toughest job for me was to attend press conferences after a game was lost, and there were quite a few times when we lost the matches."

However, Ganguly took a dig at Chappell's philosophy of coaching.

"They are saying process is more important than the results. I don't know how long it will work in India," he said.

As a player, Ganguly, who recently scored a century in a Duleep Trophy match, said he was hopeful of staging a comeback getting back into the side.

"I've very good chances provided I fit into the scheme of things. But it depends on the team's performance," he said.

Answering another question, Ganguly said that people in India want to see cricketers and the captain "in a good boy image".

"But if you want to win, you've got to be thick skinned. I was not, but I developed it later," he said of his well-publicised strong point as captain.

On being asked to pick the greatest cricketer he has played with, Ganguly said it has to be Sachin Tendulkar.

"Obviously, someone who has scored 75 international centuries has to be good. Sachin is the greatest cricketer I have played with," he said. "Of the contemporary players, I also rate Lara high. Sachin and Lara are the two geniuses for me."

When asked about the good captains, Ganguly mentioned Stephen Fleming of New Zealand, but refused to rate Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.

"I won't consider them as they had very good players in the team. When Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have retired, I will probably rate Ponting," he explained.

Ganguly, who has scored 5,221 runs in 88 Tests and 10,123 runs in 279 ODIs, is India's most successful Test captain. He won 21 out of the 49 Tests in which he led the side and lost 13.

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