The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I’m committed to the RCA, says Chappell
- Former Team India coach isn’t looking at a fresh innings with the Big Boys

Calcutta: It was almost seven months ago that Greg Chappell chose not to seek an extension of his contract as coach, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hasn’t been able to appoint a full-time successor.

We’ve instead seen a succession of cricket managers and the last one, Lalchand Rajput, is probably going to be retained for the forthcoming ODIs and Tests against Pakistan.

“A decision should be taken within a day or two,” is what BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said late on Thursday, a mere ten days before the first ODI.

Chappell is, of course, back in India — as director of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) Academy in Jaipur — but has no plans of making a comeback as Team India coach.

Asked by The Telegraph if he would be tempted in case there’s a fresh offer from the BCCI (it’s no secret that some officials wanted him to continue), Chappell replied: “I’m very happy with what I’m doing in Jaipur... My contract is for three years and, during that period, my focus will be on the Academy... I’m committed to the RCA.”

The RCA, incidentally, is headed by BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi.

Just back from London and Paris (“a business trip in connection with a bank”), Chappell added on Thursday afternoon: “There’s no dearth of talent and I’m enjoying what I’m doing... This season, the head coach (buddy and former Team India biomechanist Ian Frazer) and I are going to work with five groups of U-19 cricketers. In fact, we’re currently with the second batch...”

Chappell will be in India till end-December (which means he should watch the India versus Pakistan ODI on November 18) and, then, return around April next year to work with the best among the U-19s. That group should be 20-25 strong.

“The selection of the trainees is being done by the RCA, our job is to train them with the latest methods and we’ve looked at other disciplines, not only advances in cricket (coaching)... We’ve been putting together a structure in place,” Chappell, who is required to spend six months every year at the Academy, pointed out.

Soon off to Hong Kong for a few days (again, on a “business trip”), Chappell declined to talk about Team India’s performance in the just-ended ODI series against Australia. “I have absolutely no comment to make on the Indian team and the Indian cricketers...”

Chappell had been coach for 23 months, a period which (among other things) saw Sourav Ganguly’s ouster and outstanding return, the capping of Sreesanth, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s development as a ’keeper and batsman and, finally, Team India’s first-round exit from cricket’s showpiece event — the World Cup.

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