Angry over the dismal performance of the Rahul Dravid-led team in South Africa, a group of cricket lovers today burnt effigy of Indian coach Greg Chappell and set afire players’ photographs.
Raising slogans against Chappell, a group of cricket fans gathered under the banner of a little known ‘Manav Yuva Sangh’ at Babwali roundabout in Patna city, garlanded the effigy with shoes and chappals and burnt it.
The protesters also set afire a large sized poster, which was a collage of photographs of the Indian team currently touring South Africa.
“Guru Greg and players are playing with the sentiments of the countrymen. Repeated failures of the team, largely due to experiments carried on by Chappell, have disappointed us,” said Balram Chaudhary, convenor of the Sangh.
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Regretting Chappell’s comments, Chaudhary said “instead of owning up responsibility for the poor show and promising to improve the performance, Chappell is trying to gag the voice of the countrymen who are crying at the fall of Team India”.
In Kolkata, there were similar scenes, but the protest was largely to condem Chappell’s comments against Indian MPs, with demonstrators burning the coach’s effigy and demanding that he be sacked immediately.
At Kalighat in the southern part of the city, around 30-35 members of the ‘Cricket Lovers Association’ raised slogans against the Australian coach saying he has insulted not only the Indian MPs but also the entire nation.
“The MPs are people’s representatives. Insulting them is akin to insulting the Indian people,” they said, carrying aloft posters condemning Chappell. “Moreover, Chappell is an outsider, a foreigner. What right does he have to speak about the functioning of our parliamentary democracy,” they asked. Similar incidents were witnessed in Jamshedpur also.
n Kaif’s house vandalised
Allahabad: A group of people, claiming to be supporters of the Lok Janshakti Party, today vandalised the house of cricketer Mohammed Kaif after his poor show in the ongoing one-day series against South Africa.
Kaif scored 8 and 10 in the two one-dayers against South Africa who drubbed India in both the matches so far leading to strong criticism back home. “A number of them tried to storm the house, broke some electric bulbs and plastered the name plate with mud,” police said.
“They also raised slogans against BCCI chief Sharad Pawar for persisting with Greg Chappell as the coach of the Indian team and burnt their effigies,” they added.
Police said the protestors, who appeared to be well-known to some TV channel reporters, were persuaded not to go inside Kaif’s house but only to burn the effigies.
They were also chased away by the police party which arrived on the spot. Nobody except servants were present at Kaif’s house during the protest as his parents live in their ancestral house in another part of the city.
Fickleness of public perception of its local heroes is evident from the fact that people had twice last year protested non-inclusion of Kaif in the Indian team and burnt effigies of the captain and selectors.
Pawar backs Chappell, blames media for controversy
New Delhi: BCCI president Sharad Pawar today came out in strong support of Greg Chappell in the ongoing controversy triggered by the coach’s remarks on Parliamentarians and accused television channels of “instigating” MPs. He said Chappell’s comments were misinterpreted and that the controversy was a result of provocative journalism.”He (Chappell) hasn’t said anything like this,” Pawar,
the Union Agriculture Minister, said when told that Chappell had said that MPs get paid to make comments. “I am glad that most of the news channels are providing subject to the Parliament… I know that there is an instigation from most of the channel owners and they are instigating MPs… (this is what) many MPs told me …
“But Members are not going to act as per the advice of channelwallahs. These are not the issues which one can discuss in Parliament. “This is a game and one should not give disproportionate importance to it.” Reacting to concerns expressed by various political leaders on India’s poor performance in South Africa, Chappell had said “I am not surprised. That is what they are paid for to do in Parliament.”
The former Australian captain’s comments, which came at a press conference after India’s 106-run loss in the third one-dayer in Cape Town yesterday, evoked strong reaction from the MPs with one of them even threatening a privilege motion against him.
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