Thursday, April 5, 2007

Reading between the lines - Ian Chappell in defence of his little brother

Ian Chappell, as usual, has come up in support of his little brother. I just felt the short article had a lot of missing things. Here they are. Ian's original comment in bold, followed by stuff he's missed to mention.

1/ If there was any chance of Greg Chappell continuing his tenure as coach of India it probably disappeared when Bob Woolmer was murdered during the World Cup.

It also disappeared as soon as Greg walked in to India with borderline pedophilic idea that "Anyone over 25 and Yuvaraj Singh are bad. Young people are good". It also disappeared when he started dishing out his ideas unasked and termed it a "leak". Some of his emails reached more people than a Nigerian scam spam would! One would be amazed with the zealousness one single person was attacked in those! It also disappeared when he showed middle-finger to a sensitive foreign crowd in a not-so-borderline racist example. It also disappeared as he sat glum in the dressing room with borderline depression and did not talk with anybody for over three days during the last world cup. It also disappeared when, in a nation that thrives on stability, he started breaking the working mold of a winning team by ransacking through batting order. And of bowling too. It also disappeared when he used a "bio-mechanist" to snoop around players he did not like and gave more credence to the stooge's reports than to the performance in the field. It also disappeared the day he went ahead and tried to fix not just the way Indians play cricket, but also the way world's largest democracy works. Oh, and it disappeared every day - and a lot of it were there - when the team coached by my brother Greg my-job-is-to-motivate Chappell - not only lost a game, but looked completely clueless and devoid of any spirit to fight.

Woolmar may have been lucky to survive had Pakistan won, but losing the job was inevitable for my brother even if India had won the cup this time. Let me be brutal, that we in Chappell family prefer to be even at the cost of truth, Greg was never flexible enough to hear others' opinion and thus never a good candidate as a coach of a team of eleven and to a billion supporters. If he were one who would listen to others, one certain newspaper would never have a heading like "Chappell, your underarm STINKS". (That was not I, Ian, BTW. I use deo.)

2/ Such an ugly incident is sure to focus your concentration on life's priorities.

Fear did bring him closer to the truth that a hundred failures could not! It sometimes happens that way. Ever tried to convince your kid to brush his teeth before bedtime? Logic often fails where fear works just fine.

3/ As much as it would seem that Greg is probably better off without all the angst that comes with one of the most demanding jobs in cricket I doubt he'll feel completely fulfilled.

How exactly different would you feel when you are sacked from a job that pays about $230,000 a year in Cash - mostly tax-free; let you live in a separate quarter of a fine five-star hotel; journalists gate crashing to hear you as if you are a rock star; and all you had to do to get that job was to prepare a better power-point presentation than other contenders (actually, the others mostly spoke!) and wear a suit in a sultry Delhi afternoon. You would definitely feel "not completely fulfilled" to let it go. The pain would be manifold if all you had to do to camouflage your failure by bitching about what a bunch of losers you have inherited. Discount the fact that the same bunch reached finals of World Cup last time.

4/ A perfectionist, even one who has mellowed, is never going to be happy with under-achieving on his expectations.

We can easily identify to one who's repeatedly been pointing at the huge amount of money involved in every sphere of the game.
We can easily identify with someone who is involved with the largest mass-media component passionately linked to lives (and, sometimes death) of over 1 billion people and thinks about how much money can be made of the noise. And still, at the end not chosen by himself, has to let it go. His expectations would not exactly stop just having been paid for 22 months, no matter how astronomical the sum in this case may have been!

5/ Greg's only rationale for playing cricket was to win. I can guarantee that, because we had the same tutor: our father Martin. Greg's approach in his latest role would have been exactly the same, to do everything he could to help India win.

That, exactly that, had become Greg's bane as coach. A coach wants to win too - but before winning little things like who should be in the team and who shouldn't for himself, a coach wants the TEAM to win. Greg wanted to clean up every 'mess' and then start playing. Ever waited for enough dishes to gather at the sink before you start washing them? It usually takes bad stink to drag you to start doing it as you keep piling it up! Greg thought of the players he did not like as "cancers" - not just people "I don't like, but have to work with anyways".

He wanted to start 11 battles and wanted to win all of it himself before he even starts winning 1 for the team. To him, it was a plain and simple world that we all have seen somewhere. It's called "I am right. You are grossly wrong" syndrome. Think of the classic ex-boss or the ex-wife and that's just a better looking Greg!

We inherited one more gene from our father Martin. The gene that carries the ability and desire to twist the truth to advance one's personal agenda. I did it too. Read about this bar fight between myself and Ian Botham -

Chappell then claims that Botham said he would "cut him from ear to ear". Botham vigorously denied that. "The day I have to resort to that," he wrote in his autobiography, "is the day I know there is something wrong."

After a few more words either Botham punched Chappell and sent him flying backwards off his chair into a crowd of Aussie Rules players scattering their drinks (Botham version) or he pushed him backwards off the chair and got hysterically angry (Chappell).

Chappell then fled the bar making a final rude comment at Botham as he left, resulting in Botham sprinting out of the bar and hurdling a car bonnet to get at him (Botham) or he calmly walked out of the bar pursued by a ranting Botham who had to be restrained by one of Chappell's team-mates (Chappell).

[Excerpted from Chappell and Botham autobiographies. You decide whom to trust, but close your eyes and visualize 6'2" Guy the Gorilla Vs. a skinny bloke bar-fight before you do. I do not see any "calmness" there in my vision!]

6/ Greg is a respectful person but there is no point in trying to be like an Indian when you've been employed because of your knowledge and experience as an Australian cricketer.

Please discount recent Sly Stallone episode where he was arrested for possession of a drug banned in Australia, but of very commonplace in USA as he was entering Australia to promote his "Rocky Balboa" - a movie that at least some Australians wanted to watch because of Sly's "knowledge and experience" as an American director! Or, the event where Hillary Swank was fined $163 for carrying an Apple to the garden of Eden called New Zealand. So what I am trying to say is - when you go and visit a different culture, be careful to their law and be respectful to them - especially to the difference between yours and theirs. Unless of course you hail from Chappell family. In that case, do not care about those dark-skinned bastards. Remember we have a common tutor? Greg and I? Our father Martin.

So, if you are one of us, if you're from Chappell family - just show your middle finger to the rest of the world. They DON'T matter! Be a Chappell first, and then be an Australian. Someone tried that before with some success too. Someone wanted to be Hitler first and then a German. Being a human does not ever show up in the wish list of people like us.

Part 2

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