India coach in hot water November 28, 2005

Chappell to be censured over finger gesture


Greg Chappell will be spoken to by the BCCI for a reported obscene gesture to fans in Kolkata last week © Getty Images
India's cricket chiefs plan to speak to Greg Chappell, India's coach, over a rude gesture he reportedly made to crowds in Kolkata last week, an official said on Monday.

"We will certainly discuss the matter at the board's annual general meeting in Kolkata on Tuesday," said Inderjit Bindra, former head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). "I don't think any action will be taken but we will tell him such a thing should not happen in future."

Television footage showed Chappell putting his right hand out of a window of the team bus and pointing the middle finger towards the crowds outside the Eden Gardens prior to the fourth one-day match against South Africa. Newspapers slammed Chappell for what they said was an insulting gesture to fans who were taunting him for excluding local hero Sourav Ganguly from the one-day side. Team spokesman M Baladitya said "Chappell had injured his finger during practice and he said he was just attending to it. He did not gesture at anybody."

It was an explanation few were willing to buy, but Chappell insisted he had done nothing wrong. "I see no reason to keep defending myself for something I have not done," he was quoted as saying in the Times of India. "If I want to point a finger at someone, I would point it openly, not when I am inside a bus." The newspaper also commented: "Indian fans might be a tad too emotional for Chappell's tastes. But they don't deserve such disrespect. By his extravagantly tasteless gesture, the legendary Australian cricketer has virtually guaranteed that the debate would now be on him rather than the overtly sentimental crowd."

The Indian team was jeered off the field after South Africa thrashed them by 10 wickets last Friday to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Many in the 90,000-strong crowd taunted Rahul Dravid and his team during and after the match and raised slogans against Chappell and the selectors. Ganguly, India's most successful Test captain with 21 wins, was sacked and replaced by Dravid this season following a public spat with Chappell. The 33-year-old left-hander was not picked for the home one-day series against Sri Lanka and South Africa, but has been named in the team for the first Test against the Sri Lankans at Chennai from December 2. Chappell, 56, was appointed India's coach in June for a two-year term till the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.

India must win the final one-dayer against South Africa at Mumbai on November 28 to draw the series.