New Delhi: Former skipper Ian Chappell on Monday indicated that the expulsion of four players, including vice-captain Shane Watson, ahead of the third Test against India wouldn't have been possible without the "assistance and blessings" of Cricket Australia.
In an unprecedented move, Australia axed Watson and three other key players - pacers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja for failing to obey team management orders, giving a shocking twist to their already disastrous tour.
"It is surprising, you expect a bit more is going to come out of it. A move like this, it's a huge thing... I don't remember anything of this sort in Australian cricket in the past... You go back to 1911 when the big six pulled out of the tour of England. That makes you assume that it has been done with the assistance and blessings of the board back home in Australia," Chappell said.
A file photo of Australia allrounder Shane Watson during practice. (Getty Images)
Chappell said this is not the way to build "good" team spirit. "I must say I am surprised; I can't believe the reasons... There must be more to it than this. I don't think this is the right way to go about it. The morale of the team, particularly the loss of Watson and Pattinson... I thing from what I have seen of the Mohali pitch in the past, it would have suited Pattinson," Chappell stated.
"I am not sure that sort of thing will build team spirit... There are better ways of building a good team spirit. It's going to be interesting to see what the background is," Chappell told Cricinfo.
The former captain said "too many people" are trying to get involved in running of the Australian cricket team. "One problem with Australian cricket, as with a lot of other cricket teams, is that there is a hell lot of people giving inputs... That old saying that too many cooks spoil the broth. It applies here. You don't need too many people running a cricket team. It should always be run by the captain in conjunction with the management."
The players were dropped for failing to make a presentation on how to improve their personal as well as the team's performance after the innings and 135 runs defeat in the second Test in Hyderabad. Asked if he would ask his players to do something similar, Chappell replied in the negative.
"I was more interested in what they did on the field rather than what they wrote on a piece of paper to their wives, girlfriends back home; I was not interested in that," he concluded.