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Chappell's 'obscene' gesture condemned

November 27, 2005 21:39 IST

Former Test cricketers Kirti Azad and Ashok Malhotra on Sunday flayed national team coach Greg Chappell for his alleged "fingering" against cricket fans and said such behaviour was "unbecoming of his stature" and "against Indian culture".

"This is against our cultural ethos. I don't know how they look upon it in Australia. If such things are okay in his country then he should resort to such behaviour in his country," former national cricketer Kirti Azad told reporters.

"Chappell's behaviour did not befit his stature as Team India coach," Azad said.

"Our coach is a great cricketer and he is now holding high office of Indian cricket. So he should behave in a befitting manner," he said.

Azad, however, also rapped the Eden Gardens crowd for constantly jeering the players during the fourth one-dayer against South Africa in Kolkata on Friday.

"The people of Kolkata are so good and cultured. They should not have booed the Indian cricketers," Azad, a member of Indian World Cup team of 1983, said.

Venting similar views, former Test cricketer Ashok Malhotra said, "The very fact that he raised his finger is objectionable enough. As per Indian culture the very act of raising the finger is considered indecent."

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India president I S Bindra said, "He would raise the matter in the coming BCCI annual general meeting here on November 29 and 30." But he shed away from commenting on the issue by saying that he has not seen the camera grab.

The intellectual top brass of Bengal shot off a letter to the BCCI protesting the Chappell incident.

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Actor Arjun Chakraborty, singer Shagatalaxmi Dasgupa, author Shirshendu Mukherjee, painter Subhoprasana and a host of other luminiaries condemned the Chappell incident and drafted a letter to be sent to the BCCI.

The letter stated that they condemned such "irresponsible" behaviour from someone sitting in such a responsible position as Mr. Greg Chappell.

The letter further stated that they expected a much better behaviour from the Indian team's coach and demanded an independent inquiry into the incident by the board.