The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chappell chin up, Sourav sees reality
- Captain admits no one can save him if he does not score runs

Calcutta, Sept. 28: Greg Chappell has become incommunicado, but he isn’t planning to pack his bags.

“Yesterday’s events (in Mumbai) notwithstanding, he’s staying. In fact, he’s finalising plans for the next few weeks and could also watch the Irani Trophy in New Delhi,” a family member informed The Telegraph this afternoon.

The domestic season-launching match will be held between October 1 and 5.

Chappell’s allegations against Sourav Ganguly were thrown out by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s six-member review panel last evening and, since then, there was speculation that the verdict may prompt a premature departure.

The family member has given it a burial.

The jury, however, is still out on whether the captain and coach can actually bury differences. Many are sceptical because of the viciousness of the attack ' from both sides.

Even if the allegations were rubbished wholly on merit, Sourav-baiters are bound to keep screaming he scored because of Jagmohan Dalmiya’s patronage.

Sourav has to live with it as also the reality that he must consistently get runs.

“After a decade of regular international cricket, I realise runs matter more than anything else'. If I don’t get them, nobody is going to save me,” he accepted on returning home this morning.

Sourav may have won (if there can be a winner, that is) the allegations round, but the pressure on him will now be more than ever before.

Irrespective of the panel’s decision, a lack of consistency is going to be seen as confirmation of what Chappell said in his (leaked) e-mail to the board.

Chappell, by the way, told the panel that he sent the e-mail to board president Ranbir Singh Mahendra ' with copies to secretary S.K. Nair, joint secretary Goutam Das Gupta and chief selector Kiran More ' entirely of his own accord.

He intended forwarding a copy to Dalmiya, but the e-mail kept “bouncing back”.

It’s not confirmed, but Chappell didn’t withdraw his allegations when the panel conveyed its decision.

That can’t be insignificant.

Equally, Sourav will find it hard to quickly forget the shame heaped on him via that e-mail.

It’s a challenge not just for the two individuals, but Indian cricket itself.

Thousands of miles away, John Wright (currently coaching the World XI for the Super Series) summed it up perfectly: “Greg has only been in the job four months and, at the moment, it doesn’t look like they would go on a holiday together.”

Wright and Sourav forged a fantastic partnership from November 2000 till April this year.

Footnote: Not wanting to be blamed in case of a leak, each panel member returned his copy of Sourav’s rebuttal to the author once his deposition ended. Addressed to Mahendra, it comprised five closely printed pages.

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