Sachin Tendulkar's claims of Greg Chappell being a dictatorial coach seem to have opened a Pandora's box with his then teammate and senior offspinner Harbhajan Singh saying that some players in the side provided "selective misinformation" to the Australian in a phase which "temporarily destroyed Indian cricket". (Tendulkar Calls Chappell 'Ringmaster')
"Chappell destroyed Indian cricket to such an extent that it required at least 3 years to again get back on track. The worst part was some players in that team, who sucked upto the coach and would supply selective misinformation creating bigger rifts," Harbhajan told PTI after excerpts of Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography 'Playing It My Way' described Chappell as "ringmaster".Â (Zaheer Calls Chappell 'Control Freak')
When asked about his claim that a few players were using Chappell for their gains, Harbhajan said, "When the right time comes, the names will be revealed. Some people thought that just blindly following Chappell would do them world of good without realising that Indian cricket was going nowhere." Â (Chappell Created Doubts in our Minds: Harbhajan)
Harbhajan also made another shocking claim that Chappell was writing an e-mail to the BCCI about erstwhile skipper Sourav Ganguly, when India were in the midst of a Test match against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. (Tendulkar Stood by me During Chappell Controversy: Ganguly)
"Sourav was batting out there in the middle and this man was typing a critical e-mail against Sourav, sitting right there in that dressing room. He had no interest in the proceedings of the match. How did I get to know, I was sitting next to him and had a suspicion. Once he went to the washroom, I peeped into his laptop and the mail was lying open. I was stunned to see the contents," Harbhajan revealed.
"Once Sourav came back, I told him about this e-mail and he seemed unaware and equally shocked. "There were seven guys that he wanted to get rid of." (Chappell Denies Sachin Claims)
Sourav was his primary target followed by myself, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh," claimed Harbhajan, who is India's third highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.
Harbhajan was even more scathing in his criticism of Chappell. (Chappell Not to Blame for 2007 Debacle: Gavaskar)
"He was supposed to take India to the next level in international cricket. But during that phase, there was one point of time, we were playing like U-14s."
"It was a time, when during tours, we were scared of each other. We couldn't confide our feelings, anguish or despair because we could not simply trust each other. The atmosphere was so claustrophobic," said the feisty cricketer.
Harbhajan remembers Chappell's behaviour during India's victorious Test match at Kingston back in 2006.
"In the first innings, West Indies were out for 103 and I took 5 for 13. When we came back to the dressing room, there wasn't even a pat on the back or 'well bowled'. Instead he congratulated another bowler I don't wish to name. It was insulting. He always had a target of dropping me but unlike others, he couldn't do that with me. His anger? Because I stood by Sourav, when he (Chappell) was taking it on him.
"Sourav built an Indian team between 2001 and 2005 while Chappell destroyed it entirely."
"He used players against each other, used the erstwhile BCCI officials according to his needs, created an atmosphere which no one would wants to remember. He imported negativity with his stature," said Harbhajan.