The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BCCI to warn Greg Chappell
- Team India Coach to be told not to comment on ‘anything outside cricket’

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will “warn” coach Greg Chappell, asking him to refrain from commenting on “anything outside cricket.”

“I haven’t spoken to the president (Sharad Pawar) as yet, but we’re going to warn Chappell… At this stage, I don’t think we can do anything else,” a top official told The Telegraph on Monday.

‘At this stage’ was, obviously, a reference to the World Cup — till when Chappell is on contract — getting closer by the day.

The quadrennial blockbuster begins in mid-March.

Speaking some hours after many MPs (and members of the West Bengal legislature) had taken strong exception to a Chappell observation in Cape Town, he added: “It’s possible that the (print) Media could have misquoted the coach, but he has been ‘caught’ on tape… He has to be warned.”

Responding to a question on India’s poor performances being raised in Parliament, Chappell had said: “I’m not surprised. They (MPs) are paid to do so in Parliament.”

Another official, who also didn’t wish to be identified, remarked: “Chappell may not have intended to cast a slur, but ought to have been careful with words… We Indians are a sensitive lot and, unbelievably, he forgot that Pawar is himself an MP…”

In his opinion, the BCCI should act “quietly” and not add to a “troubled situation.”

Whatever his personal views, though, Pawar took to defending Chappell publicly. He even went to the extent of accusing TV channels of “instigating” MPs.

Till late in the evening, it wasn’t clear what form — verbal or otherwise — the warning would take. Moreover, one isn’t sure just how effective it will be.

Chappell (who seems obsessed with moolah-matters), after all, had been ‘cautioned’ during the first Test against England in Nagpur. That was in March.

On that occasion, he’d specifically been directed by Pawar to desist from talking about anything except the “team’s performance” and “prospects.”

It followed a written complaint from former captain Sourav Ganguly, who’d rightly been offended by a Chappell quote to a UK-based daily: “What I didn’t realise at that stage (the 2005 tour of Zimbabwe) was how important to his life and finances being captain was…”

The Sourav-Chappell relationship soured on that trip, resulting in one of the most unfortunate chapters in our cricket.

While the bit about MPs has drawn the maximum attention, one is amazed that Chappell actually confessed he has no “answers” to Team India’s current problems.

If the coach is clueless, where do the players go' What’s he there for'

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