I grabbed Sehwag by the collar, says Wright

Published: Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Christchurch:Critics might have called him too soft and mellow but even John Wright lost his cool once and grabbed Virender Sehwag by the collar after the dashing Delhi bat recklessly threw away his wicket in a match.

Recalling the incident in his memoirs 'Indian Summers', John wright wrote, ''I had been trying to get Sehwag to temper his boldness which too often of late had crossed the line into recklessness.'' Shortly after skipper Sourav Ganguly had got out in the second over, an indifferent Sehwag holed out trying to blast one back over the bowler's head, leaving India tottering at 26 for two.

''I had enough of players trotting out the 'natural game' line as an excuse for failing to take responsibility and disregarding the match situation,'' Wright said.

The former coach said his frustration had hit the ''red zone'' when Sehwag walked back into the dressing room and he caught hold of the opener's collar.

''When Sehwag wandered in, I decided it was time for a sort-out.

Not realising that my exasperation levels had soared into the red zone, I went upto him, grabbed him by the collar and barked. 'What the hell's going on? How can you come back in here after playing a shot like that and unbuckle your pads as if nothing's happened.

Everyone froze -- it was like someone had pulled out a gun -- and I turned on my heel and stomped out,'' Wright wrote.

Sehwag -- shocked by Wright's sudden burst of anger -- told the coach that he was disappointed with the rough treatment but understood the situation and remained on friendly terms with Wright.

''Sehwag told me bluntly that he didn't like what I'd done. I acknowledged that he was entitled to feel aggrieved, but added that I didn't give a damn if he poured his heart out to every newspaper in India.'' ''The volcano had been rumbling for a while, and it just happened to be Sehwag who triggered the eruption. He took it better than some of the others would have and we remained mates,'' he added.

Wright said players did not hesitate in showing their displeasure with any of his actions and on occasions refused to acknowledge him after any bitter instance.

''When you say 'good morning', they look right through you and keep walking. When that happened to me I'd answer for them -- 'Good morning, John' and take on the broad message that there was a bit of bridge building to be done,'' the Kiwi said.

''Sometimes it would come out of the blue and I'd wonder what's up with him, but usually the player was reacting to a verbal rocket or being dropped.'' The former coach said he cared for his ex-wards and that was the message he always tried to get across in all the team meetings.

''The core message that I wanted to come through in everything I did and said was that I cared; I cared for them as people, and as cricketers, and I cared for our team,'' he said.

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