By Adam Ellis
Over ten years on from India’s most controversial, Sourav Ganguly has given further testimony over his debacle with then India head coach Greg Chappell in a new book.
Ganguly was dropped as a result of protesting Chappell’s selection for a tour of Zimbabwe in 2005 which left out some key figures in the India Test team.
Returning to the fold as captain after a six-match ban for a slow over rate had seen vice-captain Rahul Dravid take charge, Ganguly said in the soon-to-be-released book entitled Eleven Gods And A Billion Indians that the spirit within the team environment had changed with the BCCI’s appointment of the Australian in May 2005.
Ganguly explained: “Something from the very start of the tour was not right. I don’t know what had happened but something definitely had gone amiss.
“I think some people who Greg had become close to may have told him that with me around, he would never have his way in Indian cricket and that may have triggered a reaction.
“Whatever it may have been, he was not the same Chappell in Zimbabwe compared to the one who had helped me get ready for the Australian tour in December 2003.”
“Greg came to me one evening and showed me a team he had picked for the Test match. Some key players were not in his playing XI and I was a little taken aback at what he was trying to do.”
After the two squabbled over selection Ganguly was stripped of the captaincy by Chappell and ousted from the squad across all formats by January.
An act which led to street protests in Ganguly’s hometown of Kolkata and was debated within Indian Parliament.
A mutual dislike for one another continues to be aired frequently in public, and it was this publicity which led India on a downward trend and Chappell towards the exit in 2007.
One cricketer in the Test fold revealed under anonymity at the time: “Give us a foreigner, give us an Indian, give us anyone but him,” in sharing their view of Chappell.
India would be knocked out of the 2007 Cricket World Cup at the group stage after losing to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.