Ian Chappel feels problems with players should be dealt face-to-face over a drink

Ian Chappell defended Shane Watson’s backlash over comments by Cricket Australia’s General Manager Pat Howard © Getty Images

Mohali: Mar 18, 2013

Former Australian player and commentator Ian Chappell criticised the way in which suspension issue of four Australian players was handled and emphasised that the problem should have been solved within the team by speaking to the players personally.

“Why weren’t the team’s struggles sorted out face-to-face in the team room over a few drinks and a bit of candid conversation, rather than asking for suggestions by text or email?” questioned Chappell.

“Many a stormy confrontation has cleared the air in a sporting team and allowed a side to move on to better things without any outsider being aware of the reason for the sudden form reversal,” he said.

In a column for The Telegraph, Chappell elaborated saying that though it’s a team game, the players are ultimately individuals and each one of them is aware what is best for their preparations because ultimately it’s winning that matters more than conforming.

He also highlighted the important role played by a captain in such a situation. The former Australian player felt, the skipper would have agreed with the punishment decided by Mickey Arthur or else he would have avoided it from happening in the first place. “This is a logical conclusion, as he was stand-in captain in 2008 when Andrew Symonds was sent home from Darwin for disciplinary reasons.

“Clarke has proved to be a brilliant tactician, but he may find the more he tries to control things off the field, the less likely he is to maintain authority on the ground,” Chappell said referring to the environment in the team due to such decisions.

Chappell also defended Shane Watson’s comments on Cricket Australia’s General Manager Pat Howard after the latter criticised that Watson was a team player sometimes.

“Cricket Australia may not like what he said, but Watson’s response to Pat Howard’s unhelpful comment about him being a team man “sometimes”, was fair and reasonable. That’s exactly the feisty exchange the Australian team needed to have behind closed doors in the aftermath of the Hyderabad debacle,” he said.

Chappell felt that dropping players on disciplinary reasons isn’t totally bad as cricketers are used to handling such decisions.

“They do occasionally get dropped and what they want is honesty and to be told their failings face-to-face. It’s how a player reacts to a setback that defines whether he kicks on to better things or withers on the vine. The only culture this Australian team needs to develop is a winning one,” he concluded.

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