The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lara wasn’t why Chappell said ‘no’

Calcutta: Special courtesies are bound to be extended when Greg Chappell lands in Mumbai (en route to Bangalore) on Wednesday. He will, after all, be clearing the arrivals’ immigration and customs for the first time as the Team India coach.

Yet, had the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) been on the same wavelength as Chappell, late last year, he would have been in the Caribbean coaching the once-mighty West Indies.

Chappell hasn’t commented on why he turned down the offer, but a confidant told The Telegraph that the decision was influenced by the “disappointing response” from the WICB to every communication from the iconic Australian.

Then, at least, the WICB didn’t have a vision.

“Most are under the impression Chappell decided against going to the West Indies as he would have had to handle the temperamental Brian Lara.

“However, Lara wasn’t why Chappell chose to remain in Adelaide. Actually, the WICB would respond with a blank each time issues were raised. Basically, the two just weren’t talking the same language,” the confidant pointed out.

Chappell was approached by the WICB during last September’s Champions Trophy in England when Gus Logie was still the coach.

Once Chappell said ‘no’, the WICB got another Australian, Bennett King, on board.

Given that the confidant can’t be off the mark, the WICB hardly comes through as an organisation with priorities in place.

Indeed, only last week, no less than Sir Vivian Richards himself slammed cricket administrators in the West Indies for a never-ending slump.

“The administrators want all the glory for themselves' I would love to see emphasis placed on getting the team into a proper competitive position,” he observed at a function in New York.

Sir Vivian spoke from the heart and didn’t conceal his anguish. It appears the WICB has much to do to move forward in even a small way.

Significantly, in a sequence beginning with the home series versus Australia after the 2003 World Cup, the West Indies have lost 16 of the 28 Tests (five wins) and 28 of the 53 ODIs (20 wins).

No wonder Sir Vivian and his generation of players is pained.

Chappell, meanwhile, will be accompanied by his wife and, among other things, they’re to select an apartment in Bangalore.

The Karnataka capital (where the National Cricket Academy is located) is going to be the new Team India coach’s base.

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