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Ganguly unfit to lead: Chappell e-mails BCCI
M Chhaya in Kolkata
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September 23, 2005 11:01 IST
Last Updated: September 23, 2005 15:53 IST

In a fresh twist in the Sourav Ganguly-Greg Chappell saga, the Indian coach sent an e-mail to Board of Control for Cricket in India president Ranbir Singh Mahendra criticising Ganguly's behaviour, a newspaper report said on Friday.

It was reported that Chappell sent a six-page e-mail to the BCCI, saying that Ganguly is mentally and physically unfit to lead the team.

He added if India is aiming for the 2007 World Cup, then Ganguly's attitude and outlook are not ideal.

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Chappell is also miffed at the fact that the Indian captain does not follow the fitness regimen prescribed, and most of the time uses the false pretext of injury to exempt himself.

The Indian coach also felt that his attitude is affecting the team as the left-hander in indulging in a divide and rule policy to retain his captaincy, due to which he has lost the confidence and respect of his team mates, aspects which are important for a captain.

Mahendra, who is in Kolkata for the BCCI Annual General Meeting, confirmed that he did receive the e-mail, but the contents of the same have not been revealed.

"The Board has received a letter from Chappell. It is confidential and I cannot divulge the details right now," Mahendra told reporters before rushing off into the AGM.

Bengali daily Ananda Bazaar Patrika quoted Ganguly as saying, "I have heard about the mail. I will say whatever I have to the Board. I hope the Board will give me a chance to explain."

An angry Ganguly was further quoted as saying, "You can imagine the character of a person who within hours of a truce goes and writes such an e-mail."

BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla also said that an e-mail had come from Chappell.

"But I have no knowledge about its contents. And I think the media should not speculate about it," Shukla added.

Chappell's e-mail came barely a week after Ganguly's sensational disclosure that he had been asked by the coach to step down as captain before the Test series against Zimbabwe, a development that caused a flutter in the cricketing fraternity.

Chappell's missive came shortly after India recorded their first series win outside the subcontinent in 19 years when they crushed Zimbabwe by ten wickets for a 2-0 Test series triumph.

Although both Chappell and Ganguly were known to be close to each other, their relationship soured to some extent after the Australian great took over as coach.

Ganguly's repeated failure with the bat and the team's inability to win finals strained the relationship further.

It reached flashpoint just before the Test series, when the spat between the coach and the captain came into the open with Ganguly disclosing that he was asked to step down at a media conference.

The Bengal left-hander responded with a painstaking century in the Bulawayo Test as a debate raged in the country on whether dressing room discussions should come out in the media.

Chappell then issued a hand-written statement ahead of the second Test in Harare where he professed his utmost respect for Ganguly and said he was looking forward to work with him in future.

Chappell's statement and his public bonhomie with Ganguly was apparently done at the behest of the Board of Control for Cricket in India which was keen to ensure that the public spat did not distract the team.

But Chappell's latest missive has made it clear that the rift between him and Ganguly is far from being over.

(With inputs from PTI)

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