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Tendulkar hits out at 'ringmaster' Chappell

NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar has launched a scathing criticism of Greg Chappell’s conduct as India’s cricket coach, saying the former Australian great tried to disrupt the team by having senior players thrown out.

In his autobiography “Playing It My Way” which is to be released on Thursday, Tendulkar describes Chappell as a “ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not”.

During Chappell’s controversial tenure as coach from 2005 to 2007, Sourav Ganguly was sacked as captain before the coach was himself shown the door after India’s shock first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup.

In extracts from the book released by the Press Trust of India on Monday, Tendulkar says Chappell offered him the captaincy a few months before the showpiece tournament in the Caribbean to replace the incumbent Rahul Dravid.

“Just months before the (2007) World Cup, Chappell had come to see me at home and, to my dismay, suggested that I should take over the captaincy from Rahul Dravid,” Tendulkar writes.

“Anjali (Tendulkar’s wife), who was sitting with me was equally shocked to hear him say that ‘together, we could control Indian cricket for years’, and that he would help me in taking over the reins of the side.

“I was surprised to hear the coach not showing the slightest amount of respect for the captain, with cricket’s biggest tournament just months away. He stayed for a couple of hours, trying to convince me, before finally leaving.”

Tendulkar says that he then suggested to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that Chappell should not be sent with the team to the World Cup, but it was turned down.

“I don’t think I would be far off the mark if I said that most of us felt that Indian cricket was going nowhere under Chappell,” he wrote.

Tendulkar said several senior players were relieved to see Chappell go, “which was hardly surprising because, for reasons hard to comprehend, he had not treated them fairly”.

Tendulkar, who retired last year as the world’s leading run-getter in both Test and one-day cricket, said that after getting Ganguly sacked as captain in 2005, Chappell wanted other senior players also to go.

“Chappell seemed intent on dropping all the older players and in the process damaged the harmony of the side,” the master batsman wrote.

“I later found out that Greg had spoken to the BCCI about the need to remove the senior players, no doubt hoping to refresh the team.”

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