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BCCI not to ban statements from players

September 25, 2005 20:31 IST

Ranbir Singh Mahendra, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, refused to issue any directive to the players of the Indian cricket team in the ongoing controversy between the Indian team captain Saurav Ganguly and coach Greg Chappell.

Speaking to over the phone from his residence in Bhiwani, Mahendra said that the issue would hopefully be resolved after the meeting of the Board on September 27 in Mumbai.

"No, I am not asking the individual players not to issue statements in favour of the captain or the coach. They are individuals who are responsible persons. How can I stop them from saying something? As far as the board is concerned, I am not saying anything on the matter till we hear both the captain and the coach during our meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday," he said.

A former Indian captain lambasted the spinner Harbhajan Singh for issuing a statement in favour of Ganguly and accusing Chappell of making the players feel insecure about their place in the side. "The fight is between the coach and the captain and this man has jumped into the fray for no rhyme or reason," said the former ace spinner. Singh could not be contacted as his phone has been switched off.  

Another former Indian captain, Bishen Singh Bedi, said it would be sad if Chappell is forced to opt out. "You have hired him for enchancing the performance of the team so you should listen to him," Bedi said.

According to a leading sports photographer, more players who are close to Ganguly are likely to issue statements in his favour in order to put coach Chappell in a tight corner. "Some of the youngsters owe their place in the side to Ganguly and it is likely that they would go with the captain then with the coach," he said.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi