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John Wright veils attack on coach Greg Chappell

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:Joining issues with his predecessor, John Wright today made a veiled attack on theIndian cricket coach Greg Chappell, saying he had worked with the team given by the selectors and strongly defended his own record.

Wright, who was accused by Chappell of being soft in his handling of captain Sourav Ganguly and allowing things to go on "to the detriment of the team", reacted sharply, insisting "I stand by my record. I worked with the team I was given by the selectors.

"I worked as hard as I could with the whole team to try and get the performances that the Indian people wanted."

On the raging controversy over Chappell's controversial e-mail to the Indian Cricket Board in which he had attacked Ganguly and some other players, Wright said, "I always looked at it this way -- the team was selected for me, whoever that was with a captain, with a player. "You didn't get a vote on selection but my job was to ensure as coach they were prepared and performed to the best of their ability."

It was almost like "performance coaching" and the team made some progress over the four years he was at the helm as coach, he said.

Wright made the comments, his first on this issue, in Melbourne where he is coaching the rest of the World teams for the upcoming Super Series against Australia.

Wright, whose nearly five-year career saw India clinch series victories against Australia and Pakistan, said Chappell had been in the job only for five months and "at the moment it doesn't look like (he and Ganguly) would go on a holiday together.

"It looks like they're having teething problems at the moment and it will be interesting to see how it goes." However, Wright said he hoped Chappell would succeed in taking the team "a little bit further".

"In any team situation there are always issues sometimes personal, sometimes performance. You want Greg to come on and hopefully he will take it that little bit further.

He'll obviously do it in his own style and that may be different from the methods I used. It's a process."

The New Zealander said during his stint there were times when his opinion was not appreciated by the players.

"I've always tried to be very honest with the players (and) at times the players don't appreciate that. It's a challeging job, a very passionate environment and all sorts ofissues can arise, sometimes from nowhere."

Wright said he would have handled the issue differently. "I was very fortunate from the point of view that we always believed what goes on in the changing room stays in thechanging room."

Maintaining that the coach of India could always expect criticism, he said, "I had criticism from all quarters during, after and before my tenure, it's part of the role of being coach.

The only thing I tried to do was to ensure we played well as a team and got results as a team."

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