Former BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra doesn't regret the decision of appointing Greg Chappell
The tenure of Greg Chappell as the Indian cricket team’s coach came under the scanner and the antics of the Australian taskmaster irked senior Indian cricketers and somtimes the fans to the core. His infamous ‘fight’ with the former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is known to all and Ganguly also regretted his decision of choosing the Australian as the coach later. But according to former Board of Control for Cricket in India President, Mr. Ranbir Singh Mahendra, who was in charge of the apex body when Chappell was appointed, feels it was not a wrong decision.
He pointed out, “We had appointed a committee (Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, and S Venkatraghavan) and all the members of the committee were unanimous on this.”,reported mid-day.
Ganguly, who was recently given the job to select the next Indian coach alongside VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar, regretted the fact, “I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005.”
The Chappell-Ganguly saga became one of the most talked-about controversies in the Indian cricket as the former was influential in dropping the then Indian captain first from the captaincy and then later from the Indian squad. The man from Bengal, however, made a roaring comeback to the national squad and silenced his critics. Chappell was shown the door after India performed miserably in the 2007 World Cup.
Chappell was the best choice then
Known to be a man of few words, the Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar also expressed his displeasure in his autobiography. He lambasted the Australian by describing him a ‘ringmaster’ who imposed his ideas on the players,
However, Mahendra feels, “He was the best competent person at that time and his presentation impressed us all. Chappell did well till his differences with Ganguly surfaced. I was told that the team was not united, but that was only upon hearsay and the issues were sorted out thereafter.”
Ganguly’s show of faith was in fact, was one of the biggest votes in favour of appointing Chappel. Some of the Australian’s decisions were heavily scrutinised and he could never earn the respect of the fans because of his tempestuous nature. He even courted controversies time and time again and some of those really overshadowed his positive aspects as well.
Mahendra seemed to have no regrets as he signed off saying, “We never felt that we made a wrong choice. We never regretted our decision. He (Chappell) was better than all those who were interviewed.”