After all the speculation of what was going to happen with the Indian coach’s job, Greg bowled a googly by deciding to quit. My initial reaction was that of surprise, but then it all made sense.
The player/coach rift is now in the open. Even if his tenure was extended, he does not command the respect he once did. If he needs the respect of his players, he would have to get rid of all the seniors who he has problems with.
Getting rid of all the players will not be easy. He was able to get rid of Ganguly once, but then Ganguly was in the wrong. He cannot expect a similar result this time around. He will find himself in a position where he cannot get the players fired up, nor get them fired.
If he somehow does manage to get all senior players fired, finding enough players to fill those shoes will not be easy. And to get all these new players to perform and start winning with in the next two years is going to be even more difficult. He knows there are two very tough tours coming up – England in England and Australia in Australia. Taking a completely new team of youngsters to Australia in December would be like taking lambs to the slaughter house.
It is a completely no win situation for him and the player/coach rift is to blame. If you do not have the confidence of the players, you just cannot be their coach, no matter how good you are.
Better to quit than be sacked
From Greg Chappell’s point of view, he needs a smooth exit to save face. For starters, his tenure with the BCCI has officially ended with the WC. The question really is whether they will extend his contract or not. For BCCI to say that his contract will not be extended will reflect badly on Greg Chappell. By saying that he has decided not to extend the contract will seem like leaving on his own terms.
If Greg had not quit, it is very very likely that the contract would not be extended. Here are the reasons, why –
- World cup results were not favorable
- Public opinion against him is now very strong. Greg probably did not expect the SMS leak to have had such an adverse effect on his image, but it has.
- Members of the committee to study the debacle have already expressed opinion against Greg Chappell’s methods. Greg Chappell knows that this bias is not good for his chances of contract renewal.
- Sachin Tendulkar has spoken. No matter what public opinion is on his retirement or his performance in the World cup, when Sachin speaks India listens. Now everyone know about the player/coach rift. BCCI knows that it is probably better to replace one man than the whole team.
Freedom of speech
Now that he has decided to quit, Greg Chappell does not have to hold anything back when he addresses BCCI on April 6. He can point his fingers on anyone and everyone. It will be easier to shift blame and once he is finished with the report to the board, he can speak freely to the media as well – the board cannot put a gag order on him anymore.
I am sure Chappell is already thinking about writing a book.