India coach disappointed over leak of e-mail

Published: Sunday, September 25, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:India's cricket coach Greg Chappell returned from the Zimbabwe tour saying it was unfortunate his differences with captain Sourav Ganguly were made public.

"I think the media gets a lot excited at such happenings," Chappell told reporters on Sunday when he arrived here a day later than the rest of the squad due to the unavailability of air tickets.

"Differences are a fairly normal thing happening in cricket. But you can understand I am not in a position to speak about it to you at this stage."

The coach-captain rift surfaced in Zimbabwe when Chappell asked Ganguly to consider his position as captain before the first Test because of his poor batting form.

The spat snowballed into a major controversy last week when a confidential e-mail from Chappell to officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was leaked to the media by unknown sources.

Chappell, 56, a former Australian captain who took over in June, reportedly said in the e-mail that Ganguly was not "physically or mentally" fit to lead the side and even threatened to quit if the captain was not changed.

"I sent a private and confidential e-mail to the president of BCCI," said Chappell.

"It did not remain confidential though I would have preferred it to have remained so. What else can I say at this stage?"

Chappell and Ganguly are due to appear before a high-powered BCCI panel that includes three former captains, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Srinivas Venkataraghvan, in Mumbai on Tuesday to discuss the crisis.

The controversy overshadowed India's first Test series win outside the subcontinent since 1986, even though the 2-0 success over a weakened Zimbabwe provided only a limited morale boost.

The wins increased Ganguly's record as India's most successful captain to 21 Test victories, seven more than second-placed Mohammad Azharuddin's tally of 14.

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