Retaining Chappell will be step backwards: Wadekar
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali,
Mumbai, April 7 (IANS) Saying he was "hurt" and "sad" over not being invited to a cricket board meeting to deliberate on India's poor World Cup showing, former India captain Ajit Wadekar Saturday said that giving Greg Chappell a position in the National Cricket Academy (NCA) would be a "step backwards".
"I have my doubts. If they appoint Chappell at any position in NCA it will be a step backwards," Wadekar told IANS, reacting to reports that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was planning to use the outgoing coach's experience at the Bangalore-based NCA.
Wadekar, under whose stint as national coach between October 1992 and March 1996 India won several series, was upset over not being invited to Friday's meeting here of former captains. He said he could have contributed positively in taking the game forward after the World Cup.
"Of course, it hurts that I was not invited for the meeting. They never approached me. It's sad," said Wadekar, 66, who captained India to their first ever Test series win abroad.
He also came down heavily on BCCI for what he termed as its failure to take concrete decisions following India's first-round exit from the World Cup.
"They gave the impression that they would probe the World Cup debacle, but the board has tried to sweep the issues under the carpet. Effectively, nothing has come out of the meetings (Friday)," he said.
"Anybody could have come up with the suggestions that were made. But it was expected from the BCCI."
The meeting was called to discuss why India lost two of the three matches, including one to minnows Bangladesh, and failed to progress even to the second round of the World Cup.
"I live just about seven kilometres from the BCCI office (in Wankhede Stadium), but I would have come even from Jammu and Kashmir for the meeting," Wadekar pointed out.
Experts are surprised why BCCI president Sharad Pawar chose to ignore Wadekar, India's longest serving and most successful national coach.
"And I was also the first captain to win a Test series abroad," he said, referring to India's triumph in the West Indies in 1971. The same year he also led the team to a Test series win in England.
Experts are also surprised that BCCI also did not invite Bishan Singh Bedi, who is still actively involved in the game, though Pawar chose to call Chandu Borde, another former captain, from Pune.
"Not only me, but Bedi and Nari Contractor were also not invited," said Wadekar, who has played 37 Tests and two One-day Internationals. "We could have been quite a help. We have given so much to the country."