Mumbai: There’s no running around the bushes and neither there’s any hint of diplomacy as Ian Chappell made it clear that Australia, the defending World Cup champions, “will be diminished a bit” in England during the next year’s World Cup following the ball-tampering row and the subsequent suspension of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
While Smith and Warner can still play the 10-team event next year, Chappell, who was in the city recently to launch a sports prediction app SportsHero, is of the opinion that Smith and Warner’s, who otherwise would have been in the leadership roles, suspensions won’t help Australia’s chances at the World Cup.
“It’s not going to help Australia’s chances at the World Cup. They will be back from suspension, but it’s about how well they come back. It’s going to be difficult for them. The Australian side will be diminished a bit at the World Cup,” said Chappell.
While the trio faced a lot of heat for their involvement in the ‘shining the ball’ saga, Cricket Australia faced their share of the heat soon after the on-field incident on Day three of the Cape Town Test in March. When asked whether CA were in need of a shake-up, Chappell said, “Yes. I think something bad was looming for a while with the Australian cricket team. Hopefully, they will learn from that and things will be better in the future.”
Although there was widespread criticism towards Smith, Warner and Bancroft, there was also an air of surprise after it emerged that none of the pacers in the team were aware of the plot. Chappell, while discussing the point, said, “The bowlers were surely looking at the ball. But maybe, he (Bancroft) did not do much damage because the umpires did not change the ball. So, maybe that tells you that it was a crap piece of sandpaper.”
While the trio suspended, coach Darren Lehmann, after his initial willingness to continue his stint, stepped down after demanding a need of change in team’s culture, taking a leaf out of New Zealand’s style of play, where they play the game hard without disrespecting the opponent unlike the Australian style of pushing the boundaries on the field play. While Chappell said that Lehmann should have thought about it before, he made it clear that “you can’t be like somebody else”.
“Darren should have thought of that before the event rather than after the event. You can’t be like somebody else, the things is to be yourself. All you have to do is to play within the laws of the game. If you do that, you are going to be on the right track,” said Chappell.
When asked who should be the next Australian coach, Chappell, who is not too fond of an idea of having a coach, said: “Cobb and Co. You looked stunned. Well, you are probably too young. Cobb and Co were a very good coach company back in the days of horse and buggy. My attitude towards coaches is fairly well-documented. My original quote, which is being messed up by a lot of people, was ‘international coaches are something that the players ride around England in’. I don’t need the coach. If the coach is going to make any difference at all, would not he make a difference in that instance in Cape Town? I mean, surely, that’s something the coach can do is to stop the stupidity. You should not be able to have an effect on international cricketers. You get to that level; you should know the game pretty well. You should know your own game and I have always thought that your fellow players your best coaches. But to me, that was an ideal time for a coach to actually contribute something good to the team and he did not.”
However, Chappell said that if Australia have to appoint a coach, it should be Jason Gillespie.
“If you have to have a coach, and I am assuming that Australia will decide that they need a coach, then my choice would be Jason Gillespie. I like Jason very much as a person and he has done a terrific job as a coach in a lot of different scenarios at different places, (with) different types of teams. And to me, the way he played the game, he always played it correctly. So, if you want to have a coach, he is the bloke I want to see,” concluded Chappell.