Future of Greg Chappell
Chappell likely to stay on as India's coach
Exclusive by Anand Vasu in Rajkot
January 12, 2007
Greg Chappell is likely to stay on as India's coach irrespective of the
team's performance in the World Cup, contrary to the widely held belief that
his future with Indian cricket was linked to the World Cup.
Cricinfo has learnt that the the Board of Control for Cricket of India
(BCCI) is keen to retain the services of Chappell, whose two-year tenure
comes to an end in May for the large-scale rebuilding team in case it fails
to perform well in the World Cup.
A senior member of the Board told Cricinfo today that it will not be the
coach, but the non-performing players who will come under the scanner.
The national selection committee has already sent a strong message to
India's cricketers - perform or be dropped - but the case of Virender Sehwag
is not an isolated one. And sections of the BCCI have grown increasingly
worried about the team1s stagnation, and recent downward dip in fortunes and
are not, any more, willing to sit back and do nothing.
Traditionally the office bearers of the BCCI have taken a back seat when it
comes to the actual business of bat and ball, preferring to concentrate on
administering the game, and raising funds, while leaving cricket to the
selectors, the coach and the captain.
However, indications are that they have had enough, and are raising serious
questions about the attitude of certain senior players who have failed to
deliver as expected.
In the past, senior players have been virtually untouchable, despite
suffering from poor form or carrying niggling injuries. But if a senior
Indian board official is to be believed, this is set to end quickly.
"See, the way we see it, the World Cup could be a last hurrah for certain
players," he said. "If the performance in the World Cup is not up to our
expectations, then you can expect a number of changes. No-one will be
spared, no matter how big he is."
Critically, in all this, the Board has given events a complete twist by
strongly suggesting that Greg Chappell, the coach, could continue after the
"He is a good coach. What can he do if players are not performing?" asked
the official. "It is media speculation and an assumption among the players
that Chappell's contract will not be renewed after the World Cup."
Only recently Dilip Vengsarkar and Chappell had visited Shashank Manohar, a
vice-president of the BCCI who has repeatedly called for more accountability
from the players, and has been in the forefront of implementing a system
wherein players will be paid in correlation to the performance of the team.
That system is set to be put in place shortly and the latest round of
assurances from the board to the coach could well result in a scenario where
no player can take his place for granted.
Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo
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