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Sourav Ganguly (left) enjoyed a good relationship with Greg Chappell before it turned bitter after the latter asked him to quit from the post of captaincy in 2005 © AFP (File Photo)

Oct 6, 2013

Former India and current Australia Under-19 coach Greg Chappell on Saturday said that sections in media made his decision to ask Sourav Ganguly to step down as the captain of the Indian team in 2005 look personal.

“Sections of the media wanted to portray that it was me against Sourav. But it was nothing to do with that. It was purely to do with the cricket,” Chappell was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

Chappell further said that he admired Ganguly as a player, but his decision was in the best interest of the Indian team at that stage.

“I rather liked Sourav and I admired him as a cricketer but at that point he probably wasn’t the best person to be in that position.”

“In fact I quite liked Sourav and I have had some great experiences with him. He had been with me in Sydney before the tour of Australia in 2003, and it was a wonderful experience. And I said it before and even subsequent to the issues that we have had that Sourav considers me the best batting coach he ever had. So we had a mutual respect but I hardly expected him to agree with some of the decisions I made.”

Chappell went on to defend his actions saying, “Our relationship was separate from our job. If he had been my brother I would have done the same thing.”

However, earlier in the year, Chappell tried to break the ice and called up Ganguly to give condolences after his father Chandidas had passed away.

“I was in Kolkata earlier in the year and I learned that Sourav’s father had passed away and I rang him and spoke to him at that time and passed on condolences. I’m sure he was a little surprised but he said he appreciated it very much. As I explained to him at the time it wasn’t anything personal [about the decisions I made].”