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Sri Lankans take ‘defeat’ sportingly
- TIE-UP WITH PCB WAS VERBAL, SAYS GREG CHAPPELL

Calcutta: Mohinder Amarnath isn’t the only one who accepted defeat gracefully ' Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) reacted much the same way once Greg Chappell got picked as the Team India coach.

The SLC, it may be recalled, had offered to make Chappell the head coach. However, it put negotiations on hold till the Board of Control for Cricket in India made its decision.

Once Chappell got named as John Wright’s successor, though, a top SLC official ' who was interacting with the legendary Australian ' called to (a) confirm Chappell had accepted the post and (b) convey his congratulations.

It seems Arjuna Ranatunga also called. The 1996 World Cup-winning captain, now a deputy minister, is on excellent terms with those currently running SLC. He detested the previous dispensation.

With Chappell not available, Tom Moody is expected to be chosen John Dyson’s successor. Like Mohinder (and Desmond Haynes), Moody lost out to Chappell.

Meanwhile, before leaving for home late on Friday night, Chappell told The Telegraph that his summer of 2004 tie-up with the Pakistan Cricket Board had been “verbal” and he didn’t have to formally sever ties.

“I agreed to be consultant for a year, to start with, but didn’t actually sign a contract. In fact, before I came to New Delhi, I was invited to visit Pakistan next month. However, I said it wouldn’t be possible if I got the India job,” Chappell pointed out.

While the early August tri-series in Sri Lanka will be assignment No. 1 for Chappell, the new year is going to take him to Pakistan with Team India.

Footnote: The impression that the Chappells have one son (Jonathan, a pro baseball player in the US) and daughter (Belinda, who works with Virgin in Australia itself) is wrong. Indeed, eldest offspring Stephen is a dashing fighter pilot.

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