Ganguly was brought back in the team in 2005 despite opposition from seniors, claims Greg Chappell

Ganguly and Chappell have had a furious feud | Getty

Australia batting great and former India coach Greg Chappell has once again flamed the fire of the feud between himself and former India captain and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.

Chappell in his new book has stated that Sourav Ganguly was brought back into the team midway through a tour in 2005 despite opposition from the senior players.

One of my early tours was to Sri Lanka [2005] for a triangular one-day series, and [Sourav] Ganguly was unavailable because of a suspension for slow over rates. Jagmohan Dalmiya, the most powerful man in the BCCI at the time, said to me, ‘Greg, would you like Sourav to go on the tour, we can organise it.’ I said, ‘I don’t think we should interfere in the process, plus it’s an opportunity to look at Rahul Dravid and see what options we have.’ Dalmiya was happy enough with that response, and so we went to Sri Lanka without Ganguly,” Chappell writes in his new book titled Not Out.

Chappell, widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest batters in the world, then claims that despite the opposition of some senior players, Ganguly was brought back into the side midway through the tour.

The team was a different place without Ganguly, but he became available again midway through the tour. I sat down with some of the senior players and asked whether they wanted him back, and they said ‘no we don’t’, but the selectors brought him back,” he writes.

Chappell, who had taken over the Indian team from John Wright in 2005, had a tumultuous 2-year reign as head coach. It was marked by controversies, with led to reported instances of friction with senior players and bitter fallout with Ganguly.

Chappell, recently, had said he had become the coach because of Ganguly and that he left because the fight within the team got too much after the southpaw returned to the team.

Speaking on the Cricket Life Stories podcast, Chappell said, “Ganguly was the one who approached me about coaching India. I had other approaches but I decided that since John Buchanan was coaching Australia… I would love to coach the most populous, fanatical cricket country in the world, and that opportunity came about because Sourav, who was the captain, made sure that I did.”

The two years in India were challenging on every front. The expectations were ridiculous. Some of the issues were around Sourav being captain. He didn’t particularly want to work hard. He didn’t want to improve his cricket. He just wanted to be in the team as captain, so that he could control things,” Chappell said.

Ganguly had then stated later in a book launch event in 2016, saying, “I once had an opportunity to select the coach. I thought I messed it up in 2005. I’m given that opportunity again. Hopefully we will do it correctly this time, whoever it is… Luckily, I have got support in Sachin, VVS, the BCCI secretary, and president. Together we will pick the right person.”