New Delhi: Sourav Ganguly on Monday disclosed that Rahul Dravid was aware of what Greg Chappell was up to during his stint as India coach but he "could not control" the Australian. ('2007 World Cup Debacle not Chappell's Fault')
Ganguly's comments came after excerpts from Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography revealed that Chappell had made a "shocking" suggestion to Tendulkar to take over India's captaincy from Dravid months before the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.
"I really don't want to go back to that period, you have seen it in the results. (It was) one of worst phases of Indian cricket and worst phase a cricketer can go through, especially someone like me. There were lies after lies and six months later he wanted Rahul removed and Sachin as captain. This goes on to show how the man went about his job," said Ganguly.
"I was not surprised to see India not qualifying for the next round (in 2007 World Cup). When I came back to the team, I had spoken to Dravid about that much later and told him that these were the things going on. He said he knew it all but 'couldn't control Greg'," Ganguly disclosed.
Asked to throw some light on Tendulkar claiming in his book that Chappell once told him 'I have got the job because of Sourav but that did not mean he was going to do favours to Sourav for the rest of his life', Ganguly asked, "Is it?"
Expressing surprise at the disclosure, Ganguly said, "I haven't heard about that before. This must be closed door discussion between Chappell and Sachin. But I presume it is true and I think it is absolutely ridiculous."
He said Chappell was someone who could not be trusted.
"I lost my captaincy in 2005 November-December and World Cup was in early 2007. Rahul became the captain. And another eight months time, he needed another captain (in Sachin). It goes to show his thoughts, goes to show what damage he has done to Indian cricket, goes to show the character of the man.
He is someone who cannot be trusted whether its Ganguly, Dravid or Tendulkar," Ganguly told a private news channel. Asked about the dressing atmosphere around the time VVS Laxman was asked to open the innings by Chappell, Ganguly said, "When the Laxman episode happened I was not in the team. But I had experienced similar things and it happened during my time also."
"I am happy to see the way Tendulkar has written the book. Today he has done a lot of help to Indian cricket and hopefully it is an eye-opener to all. Happy that Sachin has written about true facts of that period," he said.
Ganguly wished he could some day tell his side of the story as well.
"Lot of things were written (about me) and I lost my captaincy. Later I came back to the team and played for India But it was not very good.
"I am happy that someone of Sachin's credibility has spoken about it. I wish some day I could tell my side of the story. Right from the Zimbabwe tour to the next one or one-and-a-half years. I have restrained myself from doing that but I am happy that Sachin has done it," he concluded.