Chappell–Ganguly Controversy - Background


Greg Chappell, a former captain of the Australian cricket team, was selected as the new Indian coach, after John Wright returned to New Zealand when his contract expired at the end of the 2004/05 international season. India went through an indifferent 2004-05 season, losing the Border Gavaskar Trophy, their first series loss to Australia on Indian soil since 1969, and then squandering a 1-0 Test series lead against Pakistan to concede a drawn series 1-1 and then losing the last four ODIs under Wright to lose the ODI series 4-2. However, John Wright's tenure had also seen India's rise to the finals of the 2003 Cricket World Cup and its first victories against Pakistan on Pakistani soil in both the three-match Test series and the Samsung Cup five-match ODI series. John Wright's role in historic victories for India brought importance and prestige to the position of coach in Indian cricket.

Chappell was chosen over the other contenders Dav Whatmore, Mohinder Amarnath, Graham Ford and John Emburey in a highly-publicised selection process. Although lacking the experience and coaching credentials of his rivals, Chappell had emerged as the favorite in the media, and secured the appointment with the active support of the Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. Chappell soon became the centre of the Indian media's attention, and his prominence and dominant personality soon began to clash with Ganguly, who had earned a reputation for being a successful and tough captain.

India's first tournament under Chappell was the 2005 Indian Oil Cup in Sri Lanka, with Dravid captaining the team. This came about after Ganguly was serving a 4 match suspension for slow over rates during the series against Pakistan in early 2005. The tournament saw Chappell introduce young batsmen such as Suresh Raina and Venugopal Rao, due to the suspension of Ganguly and the axing of V. V. S. Laxman. With Ganguly's suspension expiring, he was reinstated as the captain on the tour to Zimbabwe. Ganguly entered the series having not scored a century for almost two years since late 2003, when he scored 144 against Australia in Brisbane.

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