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Greg, Sourav call truce

By Ashish Shukla
September 19, 2005 19:24 IST
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Coach Greg Chappell on Monday sought to douse the raging fire in Indian cricket by reading out a written statement, in which where he professed his respect for captain Sourav Ganguly and desire to work with him.

Chappell said the private discussion, which has caused considerable media speculation, was aimed at motivating Ganguly for the Bulawayo Test.

"It is disappointing that what was a private discussion between the captain and myself, has become a cause of public speculation. Even more disappointing is that much of what has been written, does not represent the discussion fairly," Chappell said, in a written statement, which he read out at the pre-match press conference.

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"It was a frank discussion about Indian cricket's present and future, and much of what I said was aimed at motivating Sourav for the Bulawayo Test match. In that regard our exchange was beneficial.

"Sourav and I share a mutual respect going back a long time. Thankfully, it is strong enough to survive what has occurred in the past week. I have great respect for what Sourav has achieved in his playing and captaincy career and look forward to working with him in the future," he said.

The reconciliation drama was completed when the two posed for the shutterbugs and television crew by playing a game of pool.

The reconciliation process began in the morning, when the two met for a discussion, initiated by manager Amitabh Chowdhary, apparently at the behest of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Later, the two also appeared normal at the Harare Sports Club ground, where they exchanged notes on the pitch and conditions.

The assembled media persons were dumb spectators to this charade of kinship and were told in advance by manager Chowdhary that no questions on the issue would be entertained.

It left a few fuming under the breath and one foreign journalist even commented that it was extra-ordinary that a captain needed to be motivated before a Test match.

Chappell said if the media wanted any questions to be directed at him they were to be only on cricket.

Still, the lack of communication between the coach and captain was evident when Chappell said they had not decided about the side for Tuesday's Test, while Ganguly commented it would be unchanged.

Ganguly, on his part, said he is looking forward to winning the Test and it "would be serious" if the teams fails.

The Indian captain said his reasons for selecting two spinners is because the pitch appeared pretty dry underneath.

He also expressed happiness with his hundred in the Bulawayo Test and hoped to continue in the same vein.

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Ashish Shukla
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