Storm over Greg Chappell documentary November 14, 2007

Chappell downplays racism comments

Cricinfo staff

Niranjan Shah: 'We treated the issue just like we would have treated any other Indian player' © AFP

Greg Chappell, the former India coach, has sought to clarify his recently publicised comments about a "racist attack" on him in India, saying the comments were made at an "emotional time". Chappell had alleged the attack on him in January, at the Bhubaneshwar airport, was a racial one.

Chappell's allegations came in an ABC documentary to be screened next week. In it, he hit out at the Indian authorities who, he said, attempted to play down a serious breach of security in the eastern state of Orissa.

Asked about those allegations on Wednesday, Chappell himself preferred to downplay the incident. "It's old news," he told the Indian television channel CNN-IBN. "It was a very emotional time when I made these remarks. It's a long way back and I'd like to talk about other things now. I'm looking forward to being involved with the Rajasthan Cricket Academy for the next three years."

Meanwhile the Indian board has denied Chappell's allegations. "No way can it be called racist," the Indian board secretary, Niranjan Shah, told Cricinfo. "We treated the issue just like we would have treated [it with] any other Indian player. I remember calling him and finding out the issue. We also enhanced security and provided adequate protection. The local police also provided us with support."