I am enjoying stint with Team India: Chappell

Published: Monday, August 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Colombo: Team India coach Greg Chappell remained non-committal on his prospects of taking over the reins from John Buchanan as the next Australian coach after the World Cup in the West Indies.

Chappell read out a statement here , in which he said he was enjoying his stint with Team India and believes BCCI President Sharad Pawar would discuss his fate ''when the time is ripe''.

Chappell, however, didn't entertain any query on the matter.

The former Australian captain is tipped to take over from Buchanan and incidentally his contract with BCCI also expires with next year's World Cup.

Cricket Australia Director and former captain Allan Border recently has announced that along with Tom Moody, Tim Nielsen and Dav Whatmore, Chappell was also in the running forn the job.

Chappell on his part skirted a direct explanation and said, ''As you know about the story doing the rounds regarding my taking over as the new Australian coach, I just want to tell that coaching India is possibly the biggest challenge ever and I'm enjoying it, despite the challenges and the expectations of the billions of followers.

''I'm grateful for the overwhelming affection showered on me by the people of India and I am enjoying the trust, loyalty and belief of the Team India and it's wonder captain Rahul Dravid,'' he added.

He also cited the names of senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble and said it was a quite challenging, yet satisfying job. On his fate after the current contract expires, Chappell was completely evasive and said ''I believe when the time is ripe, Mr Pawar and his side would talk to me and discuss the matter.''

The coach, meanwhile, was frustrated that the opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid could not be tested in the ongoing series here but announced that he would try it elsewhere.

''I'm quite upset that we could not see how it worked here. It was a god opportunity (before the Champions Trophy and the World Cup) to look at our resources and how can we make best use of that.

Anyway, we will try it elsewhere,'' he explained.

Chappell admitted it was quite frustrating as rain continued to play spoilsport in Sri Lanka.

''It was very frustrating to waiting and hoping for the rain to stop. Still I consider ourselves lucky because we had two days of good outdoor practice to keep at least some activities going. We also had couple of other learning experiences here and hope boys benefit from that. we had some productive interactive sessions and we reflected on all aspects of the game.

This is not something you get everyday in such a busy schedule.

It was not easy to maintain focus but the guys are just terrific.

''Rain took away an excellent opportunity to play in conditions which are quite similar to West Indies. Anyway, we are travelling to Malaysia and I'm told the wickets there are on the slower side,'' he explained.

He also praised the cricketers for keeping them busy, despite no real action in the field.

''Some of them have really good sense of humour, while some play their own games. In all, they kept themselves pretty occupied and they don't easily get such opportunities,'' he added.

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