Dissection of an email - The double-cross

The full text of the email is available on DNA
At the completion of the Test match I was approached by VVS Laxman with a complaint that Sourav had approached him on the eve of the Test saying that I had told Sourav that I did not want Laxman in the team for Test matches. I denied that I had made such a remark to Sourav, or anybody else for that matter, as, on the contrary, I saw Laxman as an integral part of the team. He asked how Sourav could have said what he did. I said that the only way we could go to the bottom of the matter was to speak to Sourav and have him repeat the allegation in front of me.

I arranged for a meeting with the two of them that afternoon. The meeting took place just after 6pm in my room at the Rainbow Hotel in Bulawayo. I told Sourav that Laxman had come to me complaining that Sourav had made some comments to Laxman prior to the Test. I asked Sourav if he would care to repeat the comment in my presence. Sourav then rambled on about how I had told him that I did not see a place for Laxman in one-day cricket, something that I had discussed with Sourav and the selection panel and about which I had spoken to Laxman at the end of the Sri Lankan tour.

Sourav mentioned nothing about the alleged conversation regarding Laxman and Test cricket even when I pushed him on it later in the discussion. As we had to leave for a team function we ended the conversation without Sourav adequately explaining his comments to Laxman.

This is easily the most disturbing part of the email. I have no reason to disbelieve Greg Chappell and so Saurav has to go based on just this piece. VVS would have felt really betrayed by his captain and it would take some real doing on Saurav's part to regain Laxman's trust. What was Saurav thinking? That VVS would never bring it up before Chappell? Inspite of Saurav's recent press statements about leaving the team out of this, VVS would definitely be consulted with (or summoned upon) by the review committee and Saurav would have a lot of explaining to do. Saurav and Harbhajan have gone to the press and talked about the "double standards" displayed by Greg C. Now what do you have to say about this, Bhajji?

The best part of this piece is that Greg Chappell did talk to Laxman after the end of the Sri Lankan tour and explained to him about his ODI short-comings. Now how many past coaches have done that before? How many selectors have done that after dropping a player?

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