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Full Text of the "infamous" email & counter response
« on: March 01, 2006, 02:44:25 AM »

For future reference, research, and educational purposes.

Full text of Greg Chappell's email sent to BCCI during the Zimbabew tour.

Due to comments made by Mr Sourav Ganguly during the press conference
following his innings in the recently completed Test match in Bulawayo
and the subsequent media speculation I would like to make my position
clear on two points.

1. At no stage did I ask Mr Ganguly to step down from the captaincy of
the Indian team and;

2. At no stage have I threatened to resign my position as Indian team

Mr Ganguly came to me following the recently completed tri-series of
one-day matches here in Zimbabwe and asked me to tell him honestly
where he stood as a player in my view. I told him that I thought he was
struggling as a player and that it was affecting his ability to lead
the team effectively and that the pressure of captaincy was affecting
his ability to play to his potential. I also told him that his state of
mind was fragile and it showed in the way that he made decisions on and
off the field in relation to the team, especially team selection. A
number of times during the tri-series the tour selectors had chosen a
team and announced it to the group only for Sourav to change his mind
on the morning of the game and want to change the team.

On at least one occasion he did change the team and on the morning of
the final I had to talk him out of making another last-minute change
that I believe would have destroyed team morale and damaged the mental
state of the individuals concerned. I also told Sourav that his nervous
state was affecting the team in other ways as he was prone to panic
during pressure situations in games and that his nervous demeanour was
putting undue pressure on the rest of the team. His nervous pacing of
the rooms during our batting in the final plus his desire to change the
batting order during our innings in the final had also contributed to
nervousness in the players waiting to go in to bat. His reluctance to
bat first in games I suggested was also giving wrong signals to the
team and the opposition and his nervousness at the crease facing
bowlers like Shane Bond from NZ was also affecting morale in the
dressing room.

On the basis of this and other observations and comments from players
in the squad about the unsettling effect Sourav was having on the group
I suggested to Sourav that he should consider stepping down from the
captaincy at the end of the tour in the interests of the team and in
his own best interests if he wanted to prolong his playing career. I
told him of my own experiences toward the end of my career and cited
other players such as Border, Taylor and Steve Waugh, all of whom
struggled with batting form toward the end of their tenure as
Australian captain.

We discussed other issues in relation to captaincy and the time and
effort it took that was eating into his mental reserves and making it
difficult to prepare properly for batting in games. He commented that
he had enjoyed being free of those responsibilities in the time that he
was in Sri Lanka following his ban from international cricket and that
he would consider my suggestion.

I also raised the matter of selection for the first Test with Sourav
and asked him where he thought he should bat. He said 'number 5'. I
told him that he might like to consider opening in the Test as the
middle order was going to be a tight battle with Kaif and Yuvraj
demanding selection. Sourav asked me if I was serious. I said it was
something to be considered, but it had to be his decision.

The following day Sourav batted in the match against Zimbabwe 'A'
team in the game in Mutare. I am not sure of the exact timing of events
because I was in the nets with other players when Sourav went in to
bat, but the new ball had either just been taken or was imminent when I
saw Sourav walking from the field holding his right arm. I assumed he
had been hit and made my way to the players' area where Sourav was
receiving treatment from the team physiotherapist, John Gloster.

When I enquired as to what had happened Sourav said he had felt a click
in his elbow as he played a ball through the leg side and that he
thought he should have it investigated. Sourav had complained of pain
to his elbow at various stages of the one-day series, but he had
resisted having any comprehensive investigation done and, from my
observation, had been spasmodic in his treatment habits, often not
using ice-packs for the arm that had been prepared for him by John
Gloster. I suggested, as had John Gloster, that we get some further
tests done immediately. Sourav rejected these suggestions and said he
would be 'fine'. When I queried what he meant by 'fine' he said
he would be fit for the Test match. I then queried why then was it
necessary to be off the field now. He said that he was just taking

Rather than make a scene with other players and officials in the
vicinity I decided to leave the matter and observe what Sourav would do
from that point on. After the loss of Kaif, Yuvraj and Karthik to the
new ball, Sourav returned to the crease with the ball now around 20
overs old. He struggled for runs against a modest attack and eventually
threw his wicket away trying to hit one of the spinners over the leg

The next day I enquired with a number of the players as to what they
had thought of Sourav's retirement. The universal response was that
it was 'just Sourav' as they recounted a list of times when Sourav
had suffered from mystery injuries that usually disappeared as quickly
as they had come. This disturbed me because it confirmed for me that he
was in a fragile state of mind and it was affecting the mental state of
other members of the squad.

When we arrived in Bulawayo I decided I needed to ask Sourav if he had
over-played the injury to avoid the danger period of the new ball as it
had appeared to me and others within the touring party that he had
protected himself at the expense of others. He denied the suggestion
and asked why he would do that against such a modest attack. I said
that he was the only one who could answer that question.

I was so concerned about the affect that Sourav's actions were having
on the team that I decided I could not wait until selection meeting
that evening to inform him that I had serious doubts about picking him
for the first Test.

I explained that, in my view, I felt we had to pick Kaif and Yuvraj
following their good form in the one-day series and that Sehwag,
Gambhir, Laxman and Dravid had to play. He said that his record was
better than Kaif and Yuvraj and that they had not proved themselves in
Test cricket. I countered with the argument that they had to be given a
chance to prove themselves on a consistent basis or we would never
know. I also said that their form demanded that they be selected now.

Sourav asked me whether I thought he should be captain of the team. I
said that I had serious doubts that he was in the right frame of mind
to do it. He asked me if I thought he should step down. I said that it
was not my decision to make, that only he could make that decision, but
if he did make that decision he had to do it in the right manner or it
would have even more detrimental effects than if he didn't stand
down. I said that now was not the time to make the decision but that we
should discuss it at the selection meeting to be held later in the day.

Sourav then said that if I didn't want him to be captain that he
would inform Rahul Dravid that was going to stand down. I reiterated
that it was not my decision to make but he should give it due
consideration under the circumstances but not to do it hastily. At that
point Sourav went to Rahul and the two of them conferred briefly and
then Sourav left the field and entered the dressing room. At that stage
I joined the start of the training session.

A short time later Mr Chowdhary came on to the field and informed me
that Sourav had told him that I did not want him as captain and that
Sourav wanted to leave Zimbabwe immediately if he wasn't playing. I
then joined Mr Chowdhary and Rahul Dravid in the dressing room where we
agreed that this was not the outcome that any of us wanted and that the
ramifications would not be in the best interests of the team.

We then spent some time with Sourav and eventually convinced him that
he should stay on as captain for the two Tests and then consider his
future. In my view it was not an ideal solution but it was better than
the alternative of him leaving on a bad note. I believe he has earned
the right to leave in a fitting manner. We all agreed that this was a
matter that should stay between us and should not, under any
circumstances, be discussed with the media.

The matter remained quiet until the press conference after the game
when a journalist asked Sourav if he had been asked to step down before
the Test. Sourav replied that he had but he did not want to elaborate
and make an issue of it. I was then called to the press conference
where I was asked if I knew anything of Sourav being asked to step down
before the game. I replied that a number of issues had been raised
regarding selection but as they were selection matters I did not wish
to make any further comment.

Apart from a brief interview on ESPN before which I emphasized that I
did not wish to discuss the issue because it was a selection matter I
have resisted all other media approaches on the matter.

Since then various reports have surfaced that I had threatened to
resign. I do not know where that rumour has come from because I have
spoken to no one in regard to this because I have no intention of
resigning. I assume that some sections of the media, being starved of
information, have made up their own stories.

At the completion of the Test match I was approached by VVS Laxman with
a complaint that Sourav had approached him on the eve of the Test
saying that I had told Sourav that I did not want Laxman in the team
for Test matches. I denied that I had made such a remark to Sourav, or
anybody else for that matter, as, on the contrary, I saw Laxman as an
integral part of the team. He asked how Sourav could have said what he
did. I said that the only way we could go to the bottom of the matter
was to speak to Sourav and have him repeat the allegation in front of

I arranged for a meeting with the two of them that afternoon. The
meeting took place just after 6pm in my room at the Rainbow Hotel in
Bulawayo. I told Sourav that Laxman had come to me complaining that
Sourav had made some comments to Laxman prior to the Test. I asked
Sourav if he would care to repeat the comment in my presence. Sourav
then rambled on about how I had told him that I did not see a place for
Laxman in one-day cricket, something that I had discussed with Sourav
and the selection panel and about which I had spoken to Laxman at the
end of the Sri Lankan tour.

Sourav mentioned nothing about the alleged conversation regarding
Laxman and Test cricket even when I pushed him on it later in the
discussion. As we had to leave for a team function we ended the
conversation without Sourav adequately explaining his comments to

Again, this is not an isolated incident because I have had other
players come to me regarding comments that Sourav had made to them that
purports to be comments from me to Sourav about the particular player.
In each case the comments that Sourav has passed on to the individual
are figments of Sourav's imagination. One can only assume that he
does it to unnerve the individual who, in each case, has been a middle
order batsman.

Sourav has missed the point of my discussions with him on this matter.
It has less to do with his form than it does with his attitude toward
the team. Everything he does is designed to maximise his chance of
success and is usually detrimental to someone else's chances.

Despite meeting with him in Mumbai after his appointment as captain and
speaking with him about these matters and his reluctance to do the
preparation and training that is expected of everyone else in the squad
he continues to set a bad example.

Greg King's training reports continue to show Sourav as the person
who does the least fitness and training work based on the criterion
that has been developed by the support staff to monitor the work load
of all the players.

We have also developed parameters of batting, bowling, fielding and
captaincy that we believe embodies the 'Commitment to Excellence'
theme that I espoused at my interview and Sourav falls well below the
acceptable level in all areas. I will be pleased to present this
documentation when I meet with the special committee in Mumbai later
this month.

I can assure you sir that all my actions in this matter, and all others
since my appointment, have been with the aim of improving the team
performance toward developing a team that will represent India with
distinctions in Test match and one-day cricket.

As I said to you during our meeting in Colombo, I have serious
reservations about the attitude of some players and about Sourav and
his ability to take this team to a new high, and none of the things he
has done since his reappointment has caused me to change my view. In
fact, it has only served to confirm that it is time for him to move on
and let someone else build their team toward the 2007 World Cup.

This team has been made to be fearful and distrusting by the rumour
mongering and deceit that is Sourav's modus operandi of divide and
rule. Certain players have been treated with favour, all of them
bowlers, while others have been shunted up and down the order or left
out of the team to suit Sourav's whims.

John Wright obviously allowed this to go on to the detriment of the
team. I am not prepared to sit back and allow this to continue or we
will get the same results we have been seeing for some time now.

It is time that all players were treated with fairness and equity and
that good behaviours and attitudes are rewarded at the selection table
rather than punished.

I can assure you of my very best intentions.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Chappell MBE

« Last Edit: March 01, 2006, 07:05:12 PM by Blwe_torch »


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Re: Full Text of the "infamous" email
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 03:00:30 PM »

Leaked counter response from Ganguly

We were batting and we had lost two wickets for nearly 300 runs on the board. The coach has alleged in his report that I didnít want to play the new ball and that is the reason I retired hurt in Mutare.

I donít know whether the coach is aware that I had a chat with Rahul Dravid in the lift and told him that as he had got a hundred, he could retire and I would bat from the first ball of the morning. This can be clarified with Dravid at any stage you want. If my intention was not to play the new ball, why would I have spoken to him as the new ball was due the next morning?

When play started, the coach was somewhere at the back of the ground doing something else, and did not notice that Laxman and I had already played 4 to 5 overs with the new ball.

I flicked a ball from Ireland to deep square leg and took 2 runs when I felt a click on my elbow. I took off my gloves and asked for John Gloster to come on to the field.

The game was held up for a good ten minutes, and when I couldnít pick up the bat again, we left the ground. We went in and John Gloster treated me. I asked if it was possible to give me an injection as well, but he said that it was not required at that moment. The reason I asked was that I wanted a good hit in the middle before the first Test.

I resumed after lunch. I had this pain in my elbow right from the one-day series itself and John Gloster was treating me throughout. I had even taken an elbow band from Rahul Dravid which I wore throughout the one-day series and at nets as well. He used the same band when he had a similar problem on the tour of England in 2002. Mr Chappell has said that I did not take proper treatment in terms of an ice pack but, as far as John Gloster was concerned, I had been having pain killers repeatedly along with his massage treatment.

He also said I rejected further tests, but I donít think he was aware of or tried to find out that there was no MRI machine in Mutare. That was also conveyed to the manager, Mr Choudhary. He (Chappell) also says that he did not want to make a scene in front of the players and officials as that would affect the team and the players, but he went the next day and asked them individually.

I had been appointed captain for the tour, and for any good team to prosper, the captain and coach have to work together. I donít think it is good for any team when the coach talks about the captain behind his back. It does not show trust and is a hindrance to the teamís improvement. The coach should have found out the exact situation before passing statements. It shows his mental make-up of complete distrust on everything.



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Re: Full Text of the "infamous" email & counter response
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 06:42:37 PM »

In the context, there is nothing wrong about SG's statements.
I am bothered abt...GC's over-using of the word 'nervous' to describe SG.
This is not normal coach behaviour.
He seems to be pursuing an agenda to get rid of SG..much before the eventual spat came up.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 11:57:52 PM by kban1 »
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