The captain-coach furore September 19, 2005

Ganguly and Chappell patch things up on eve of Test

PTI



Ganguly and Chappell: charade of kinship? © Getty Images
Greg Chappell today sought to defuse the latest crisis in Indian cricket by reading out a written statement where he professed his respect for Sourav Ganguly and desired to work with him in the future. Chappell said the private discussion, which has caused considerable media speculation, was aimed at motivating Ganguly for the Bulawayo Test.

"It is disappointing that what was a private discussion between the captain and myself, has become a cause of public speculation. Even more disappointing is that much of what has been written does not represent the discussion fairly", Chappell said in a written statement which he read out at the pre-match press conference.

"It was a frank discussion about Indian cricket's present and future, and much of what I said was aimed at motivating Sourav for the Bulawayo Test match. In that regard our exchange was beneficial. Sourav and I share a mutual respect going back a long time. Thankfully, it is strong enough to survive what has occurred in the past week. I have great respect for what Sourav has achieved in his playing and captaincy career and look forward to working with him in the future," he said.

The reconciliation process began in the morning when the two met for a discussion initiated by Amitabh Chowdhary, the administrative manager, apparently at the behest of the Indian cricket board. Later, the two were seen exchanging notes on the pitch and conditions at the Harare Sports Club ground. The reconciliation drama was completed when the two posed for photographers and TV crews by playing a game of pool.

The assembled media was a dumb spectator to this charade of kinship and were told in advance by Chowdhary that no questions on the issue were to be entertained. It left not a few fuming and one foreign journalist even commented that it was extraordinary that a captain needed to be motivated before a Test match.

Chappell said if the media wanted any questions to be directed at him it was to be only on cricket. Still, the lack of communication between the coach and captain was evident when Chappell said they had not decided about the side while Ganguly commented it would be unchanged. Ganguly, on his part, said he looked forward to winning the Test and it "would be serious" if they failed to do so.

Ganguly said his reason for selecting two spinners was because the pitch appeared pretty dry underneath. He was also happy with his hundred in the Bulawayo Test and wanted to continue in the same vein.