India v South Africa, 4th ODI, Kolkata November 26, 2005

I did not make any angry gestures, says Chappell

Cricinfo staff



A picture speaks a thousand words © Getty Images

Greg Chappell, India's coach, has "vehemently denied" making any obscene gestures at the crowd, as has been suggested in media reports. A clip has been aired on several television channels showing a hand with the middle finger upright and all other fingers folded. This incident took place before India's one-dayer against South Africa at Kolkata.

"I vehemently deny making any gesture towards anybody. I did not gesture either towards the media or to the public" Chappell told Cricinfo after the team reached Mumbai. "I have not seen the pictures clearly, but from what I have seen an image has been captured through a window. I don't keep track of every movement of mine, but I certainly know I did not make any angry gestures towards the public," he said.

However, Chappell did not go so far to suggest the hand was someone else's and not his. "I'm not saying that the hand that was shown was not mine," said Chappell. "But even if it was, what is being shown is a mischievous and malicious interpretation of what happened."

This comes in the wake of the Indian team being treated to boos and jeers as they slid to a 10-wicket defeat. Through the course of the match, and especially in the second innings when an Indian defeat looked imminent, the restive crowd turned on the home team, cheering with great gusto every time a boundary was hit by South Africa. Even when the post-match ceremony was on the crowds booed Rahul Dravid, Chappell and some sections even went after Sachin Tendulkar, who registered a low score in the match.

Yesterday, when confronted by the media in Kolkata, M Baladitya, the media manager, put a different spin on the whole issue. "I have spoken to Chappell. He told me that while giving fielding practice to the players, he injured a finger. He was only attending to the finger in the team bus," Baladitya told the media.