India Sports
Chappell denies he 'feared for safety' during World Cup
Apr 13, 2007 - 4:49:52 PM

Rajkot/Brisbane, April 13 - In a quick reaction, former India cricket coach Greg Chappell Friday denied reports in Australian media that he had fears for safety after his team shockingly lost to minnows Bangladesh in the World Cup last month.

Hours after the Herald Sun newspaper published an 'interview' with Chappell, the former Australia captain sent a mail to the Board of Control for Cricket in India -, denying having said anything to that effect.

'Please release a press statement in my name saying that media reports in Australia that I felt that my life was in danger following the loss to Bangladesh at the World Cup is untrue,' wrote Chappell to BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah, who released it to the media.

'I never made that statement and nor did I feel that my life was in danger at any time during my stay in India. Thanks and regards. Greg.'

Earlier Friday, the paper had published a dubious looking and rather small 'interview', apparently conducted at a Brisbane motel.

'The former Australian skipper said he feared for his safety after India's loss to Bangladesh at the World Cup -- and the murder of Pakistan counterpart Bob Woolmer...,' wrote the paper.

However, the paper did not publish any quotes attributed to Chappell as it claimed it to be his first interview after leaving India for Australia April 7 following the completion of his two-year contract.

Woolmer was murdered in his hotel room in Kingston, West Indies, March 18, a day after Pakistan stunningly lost to minnows Ireland. Bangladesh thrashed India on the same day, in Port of Spain.

The defeats were instrumental in sending the two glamorous sides out of the tournament.

It is alleged that match-fixing and betting mafia could have a hand in Woolmer's murder following the biggest upset defeat in the World Cup history.

Both India and Pakistan have millions of passionate cricket fans, and many of them treat the game as almost a religion. Some other people are allegedly involved in illegal betting in the two countries, with millions of rupees changing hands when matches involving the two teams are played.

Following the exit of both teams from the World Cup, there were passionate street demonstrations and effigies of the players were burnt in both countries.

But as Chappell was finally leaving Mumbai, BCCI president Sharad Pawar hinted that the former master batsman might be offered a position in the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy, ignoring the World Cup flop show.

Chappell told the paper that he would reveal his future plans in about three weeks.

'I don't feel [cheesed off], not at all,' said Chappell, who was allegedly undermined by senior Indian players, including former skipper Sourav Ganguly.

'I am not making decisions yet, but after a while I will look at the options.'

Chappell, 58, said he would decide the future course of action during a 'round-Australia' holiday, during which he will visit friends and family.

'I just want some time away from it all,' said Chappell, who was replaced by interim coach Ravi Shastri for India's tour of Bangladesh next month.

'We are just going to spend some time catching up with family all around the country and then we will work out what happens.'

Chappell also underplayed his health reports, saying that he underwent a pre-flight health check in a Mumbai hospital.

'It was just a minor thing that they obviously made into something bigger,' said Chappell of his ailment, which was reportedly a combination of stress and dehydration.

During Chappell's stint, India played 62 one-day internationals, won 32, lost 27 and three matches ended in no result.

In Test matches, India did better under him. They played 18 matches, won seven, lost four and drew seven.

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