On-trail media gets just a glimpse of Chappell
Apr 4, 2007 - 9:36:09 PM
Mumbai, April 4 - As soon as the news of Indian cricket coach Greg Chappell's resignation Wednesday spread, the media including hordes of broadcasting vans of TV channels gathered at the Taj Mahal Hotel where the former Australia captain is staying.
Although Chappell, who quit following bitter criticism from experts and mostly veiled one from team members, was in one of the rooms of the imposing hotel overlooking the Gateway of India, he was incommunicado.
While the members of the print media waited in a corner of the lobby, the outdoor broadcasting - vans and the accompanying television reporters, waited outside the hotel.
The only success for the print reporters was when Chappell was seen in the lobby for a moment. And before some of them could rush to speak to him, the Australian, accompanied by two policemen, had disappeared in the elevator.
Soon after that a lady of the hotel staff requested the reporters to leave the hotel. And the reporters duly left the scene but stationed themselves next to the television reporters and OB vans.
'Chappell can't escape from us,' boasted one reporter. 'Some of us are posted at the back entry of the hotel as well.'
It was also a day when some reporters for the first time did not get any reply to their mails from Chappell after the 58-year-old had sent a 'cc' of his resignation letter to some members of the fourth estate, including IANS.
Chappell resigned his job due to personal and family reasons, following the team's World Cup debacle and criticism of his style of functioning by senior players.
'Today, I informed the president of the BCCI - that I would not seek an extension to my contract to coach the Indian cricket team for family and personal reasons,' Chappell said in a statement, a copy of which is with IANS.
Chappell's contract with the BCCI was up to April 30. But he called up board president Sharad Pawar Wednesday afternoon to tell him that he was resigning, hours after Sachin Tendulkar criticised Chappell for his way of functioning, especially during the World Cup in the West Indies.
It seems that the comments of Tendulkar, at best a reticent person, was the last straw, as it were. Tendulkar hit out at Chappell for questioning the commitment of senior players, whom the former Australia captain had accused of not allowing the juniors to 'grow'.
Chappell's resignation comes two days ahead of his meeting with top BCCI officials and three days ahead of its crucial working committee here.
The weekend BCCI meetings, for which former India captains have also been invited, is scheduled to take stock of India's first round exit from the World Cup after losing two of the three matches in the West Indies.
During Chappell's 22-month stint, which started May 1, 2005, India played 62 one-day internationals, won 32, lost 27 and three matches ended in no result.
In Test matches, India did better. They played 18 matches, won seven, lost four and drew seven.
But the final nail was India's crucial defeat by Bangladesh in a group match of the World Cup that eventually proved decisive.
Chappell came under heavy criticism from the media and experts of the game, mainly former India captains-turned-commentators/experts. Some of these commentators are reportedly fancying their chances of replacing the Australian.
Chappell, one of the most stylish of batsmen, played 87 Test matches and 74 one-day internationals in the 1970s and 1980s.
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