April 13: Some Indians may not like Greg Chappell but his own country wants him to groom its young talent.
Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper today tipped Chappell to become head coach of the Australian Cricket Academy, whose conveyor belt of performers has powered the country’s domination of world cricket for over a decade.
“I am not making decisions yet but after a while I will look at the options,” Chappell told the daily, which means the Board of Control for Cricket in India may still have time to ward off the competition.
The former cricketer quit as India coach after the World Cup disaster, but the BCCI hinted it might offer him a consultant’s job at the National Cricket Academy, which primes Indian youngsters for international cricket.
The Herald Sun said Chappell doesn’t feel “cheesed off” after what it described as “the bitter taste of his Indian coaching torment”, and is still interested in coaching.
Chappell told the newspaper that over the next few days, he would visit friends and family in Canberra and Adelaide before deciding his future.
“I just want some time away from it all. We are just going to spend some time catching up with family all around the country and then we will work out what happens.”
The newspaper said Chappell was the “leading candidate” to succeed ACA head coach Tim Nielsen, who takes over the Australian team’s reins from John Buchanan after the World Cup.
The Herald Sun also reported, without quoting him, that Chappell had feared for his safety after India lost to Bangladesh in the World Cup —- and Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer was apparently murdered the next morning following his team’s exit from the tournament.
But Chappell denied this in an email to BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah.
“Please release a press statement in my name saying that media reports in Australia that I felt that my life was in danger following the loss to Bangladesh at the World Cup are untrue,” the email said. “I never made that statement and nor did I feel that my life was in danger at any time during my stay in India.”
The Herald Sun claimed in the same report that India’s “shock exit… had caused angry mobs to riot in the streets of Calcutta”.