One wondered why Greg Chappell was being garlanded as part of the arrival party of the Australian team in Jaipur. Now it appears he will not be selling India’s nuclear proliferation deal, only perhaps trade secrets within the dressing room!
Greg Chappell is not new to Indian cricket and neither is Indian cricket new to Chappell. Involved as a consultant with the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), Chappell has now taken on the role of the head coach at the Centre for Excellence in Brisbane. He is traveling with the Australian team as an assistant coach to Tim Nielsen and will provide valuable input while grooming the younger lads in the side.
It seems almost ludicrous that Chappell will be initiating information on the weather, food and conditions in India when everyone knows that Australia have been more regular travelers to India than even neighbouring Pakistan and the players require little such information since the formation of A tours such as the Australia A in India playing a Tri Nations A series.
Chappell’s moves as coach of the Indian team between 2005 and 20007 did not go down too well with the players or the public. Often considered this appointment to be a sabotage, a stretched conspiracy theory no doubt, to derail India, Chappell has had a love-hate relationship with the public though not in the same league as the endearing kind a la Shane Warne.
Chappell’s reign saw Sourav Ganguly make his first exit from the Indian dressing room dethroned. It spelt the virtual end of Irfan Pathan, the bowler and he continues to search for answers. Chappell had little choice but to leave once India suffered an early ignominious exit in the World Cup of 2007 in the Caribbean by which time, it was generally considered that much damage had been rendered already with players unsure of tripping up while expressing their support for the skipper in a bid to keep their head on their shoulders. With the famous Chappell leaks to the media via SMSes and emails, matters simply snowballed into a scenario where Chappell’s continuance would have perhaps torn apart the Indian team completely into divided camps.
Chappell’s new role is not going to win him any additional friends while here in India. It is undoubtedly a deliberate move by Cricket Australia knowing Chappell’s inside experience of the Indian dressing room. With a team low on experience, they could use every tidbit of information and who better than Chappell could aid in this endeavour? Hopefully no underarm tactics though that had the Chappell brothers making infamous history.
Now if only one could be a fly on the wall for the things being told in the Australian dressing room. The fascination factor just keeps growing.