Virender Sehwag during MCC and Durham match, earlier this year © Getty Images
By BD Narayankar
Bangalore: Jul 15, 2014
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is absolutely livid about the 22-yard strip at Trent Bridge which was on offer and has urged the authorities to “sack curators” who produce poor quality pitches.
“That (Trent Bridge) wasn’t a good surface for players to showcase their talent. I hope we are not going to see more of this. If the curator produces more of bad pitches then sack him. If he produces good pitches and home sides keep losing – guess what, go and find better players,” Chappell, who is not known for mincing words, told PTI during an exclusive interview.
Chappell,who has been hooked to cue sport playing a few frames with World Billiards Champion Pankaj Advani at the Karnataka State Billiards Association (KSBA) headquarters, spoke on a range of topics from pitches, to Virender Sehwag‘s comeback and exclusion drama of Kevin Pietersen.
“The good pitch also exposes the weaknesses of the players, which is good for the game. It also gives an opportunity for the selectors to look for better player. If anybody does not do well — he will be found out and he is gone,” he said.
Chappell feels commercial considerations were taken into account while preparing a lifeless track at Nottingham.
“I suspect that it was done for the bottomline to have five days of Test. That’s rubbish,” Chappell said.
The former Austra35an captain also wants that curators should be freed from players or administrator’s interference.
“The administration, players should shut up and leave it to the curator because curator is like a player. He has got pride in his ability. He wants to produce a good pitch that will give result sometime later on the fifth day,” he said.
Commenting on the upcoming second Test at Lord’s starting Thursday, Chappell questioned England’s decision to recall inexperienced left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan in their squad after the battering he got Down Under from Shane Watson in the only Test that he had played earlier.
“They have Simon Kerrigan as a spinner. Of what I saw of him last year against Australia, the Indian batsmen should be rubbing their hands in glee with the kind of batting they have,” he said.
The straight-talking Chappell was dismissive about the home advantage notion citing example of the 1969 Australian team under Bill Lawry that beat India 3-1 in an away series with Bishan Singh Bedi, Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna in action for the hosts.
“I am not worried about the home ground advantage – how to win away games. I have felt that way because I had faith in the team when I came to India in 1969. We felt we could win because we knew we had players who could play spin. India had three magnificent spinners but we still felt the chance of winning,” Chappell added.
As the discussion turned towards out-of-favour opener Virender Sehwag, Chappell said,”I don’t see how he [Sehwag] is going to make a comeback. Sadly, but he was probably a player, who was going to finish early. I hate to see him comeback and struggle.”
Someone, who has never believed in a coach’s role, Chappell was very critical of Kevin Pietersen’s ouster.
“Pietersen was sacked because he did not want the coach. How stupid of England! Who is more important, the coach or the captain — Jesus Christ,” he wasn’t amused.
“The captain is the most important guy. Coach makes no difference at all — minimal. The best of coaches might make 1-2 per cent difference. That’s it. A bloody good captain can make 10 percent difference to the team,” he argued.
Chappell also has a problem accepting N Srinivasan as the chairman of the ICC since the Supreme Court of India has stopped him from carrying out BCCI functions.
“I have a problem with a guy that the Supreme Court of India says he can’t be BCCI President, but can be ICC President. Someone explain that to me?” he asked.
“It is so typical of the ICC and particularly when greatest problem of the game is corruption which will bring the game down,” Chappell said in his inimitable manner.
“Chucking wouldn’t bring the game down; sledging, anything else you can think of. One thing which will bring the game down is corruption,” Chappell concluded.