Australia Test great and former India coach Greg Chappell has denied claims that he wanted Rahul Dravid removed as captain in the months leading up to the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
Chappell was responding to extracts released from the autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar, entitled Playing It My Way, which will be released this week.
In the extracts published in Press Trust of India on Monday, Tendulkar says Chappell visited him at his home just months before the 2007 tournament and suggested that he replace Dravid as captain.
Chappell says the claims are untrue.
"The claims made in Sachin's new book were brought to my attention earlier today," Chappell told cricket.com.au.
"Whilst I don't propose to get into a war of words, I can state quite clearly that during my time as Indian coach I never contemplated Sachin replacing Rahul Dravid as captain.
"I was therefore very surprised to read the claims made in the book.
"During those years, I only ever visited Sachin’s home once, and that was with our physio and assistant coach during Sachin’s rehabilitation from injury, at least 12 months earlier than what was reported in the book.
"We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon together but the subject of captaincy was never raised."
In Playing It My Way, Tendulkar has recounted his version of events.
"Just months before the (2007) World Cup, Chappell had come to see me at home and, to my dismay, suggested that I should take over the captaincy from Rahul Dravid," he wrote.
"Anjali (Tendulkar's wife), who was sitting with me was equally shocked to hear him say that 'together, we could control Indian cricket for years', and that he would help me in taking over the reins of the side.
"I was surprised to hear the coach not showing the slightest amount of respect for the captain, with cricket's biggest tournament just months away. He stayed for a couple of hours, trying to convince me, before finally leaving."
Chappell, who coached India from 2005 to 2007, was replaced as coach after India's first-round exit from the World Cup in the Caribbean.
During Chappell's time at the helm, Sourav Ganguly was replaced as captain and, Tendulkar claims, the Australian wanted to remove other senior players from the side.
He labelled Chappell a "ringmaster who imposed his ideas on the players without showing any signs of being concerned about whether they felt comfortable or not".
"Chappell seemed intent on dropping all the older players and in the process damaged the harmony of the side," Tendulkar wrote.
"I later found out that Greg had spoken to the BCCI about the need to remove the senior players, no doubt hoping to refresh the team."
Tendulkar said several senior players were relieved to see Chappell go, "which was hardly surprising because, for reasons hard to comprehend, he had not treated them fairly".
The Indian legend said that, following the alleged meeting at his house, he suggested to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that Chappell should not be sent with the team to the World Cup, but he was turned down.
"I don't think I would be far off the mark if I said that most of us felt that Indian cricket was going nowhere under Chappell," he wrote.
- with AFP