BCCI likely to appoint Chappell as consultant

Published: Friday, April 6, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:India's cricket chiefs on Friday dismissed media speculation that Greg Chappell would be persuaded to stay on as coach despite the World Cup debacle. But BCCI praised Chappell for his "professional approach" and said that the Australian would associate with Indian cricket in future as well. "Greg Chappell is no more the coach but he could be associated with Indian cricket in future as a consultant to groom youngsters," Niranjan Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told reporters midway during the two-day review of the team's performance.

Chappell had told the BCCI on Wednesday that he did not want to extend his two-year stint as coach which ended with the World Cup, citing "family and personal reasons."

However, media reports on Friday suggested that the BCCI might persuade the former Australian captain to change his mind if they were convinced he was not at fault.

"Chappell gave a detailed presentation of what went wrong at the World Cup," said Shah. "He felt he too was partly responsible for the team's failure.

"Chappell also did not make any reference to individual players but felt India needed to groom young players and asked the team to concentrate on fitness."

Shah said BCCI president Sharad Pawar praised Chappell's "professional approach" as coach.

Chappell's decision to leave came amid speculation of a rift with senior players, prompting superstar Sachin Tendulkar to go on record that he would be "hurt if the coach questioned his commitment."

The review began with Chappell, captain Rahul Dravid and team manager Sanjay Jagdale appraising BCCI chief Sharad Pawar and other officials on why India were eliminated in the first round.

The 1983 champions and finalists in 2003 were stunned by Bangladesh in their first match and then lost to Sri Lanka to bow out of the tournament in the preliminary stage.

"Jagdale said the entire team had to shoulder the blame for the defeat because it did not play well," said Shah. "He too felt younger players should be encouraged."

Dravid also accepted responsibility for the early World Cup exit, said Shah.

"Dravid felt the team had left for the World Cup with high hopes but failed to perform well," the BCCI secretary said.

India must appoint Chappell's successor soon since India are due to tour Bangladesh in May for two Tests and three one-day internationals.

The BCCI will also speak to seven former national captains before its influential working committee meets on Saturday to decide the future course of action.

The ex-captains invited are Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, Chandu Borde, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Ravi Shastri and Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

Dev, India's only World Cup winning captain, suggested the BCCI should look at Gavaskar to take charge since "he was the right man for the job."

"The Indian team does not need a coach, it needs a good man manager and there is no one better than Gavaskar to do the job," Dev told AFP.

"Look, we did not have a coach when we won the World Cup in 1983. But we did have a good man manager in (cricket administrator) Peter Man Singh."

Gavaskar, the first batsman in Test history to scale the 10,000-run mark, is now a television commentator and also heads the International Cricket Council's technical committee.


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