Greg Chappell accuses Orissa Police, BCCI of racist cover-up

Melbourne, Nov. 14: Former Indian cricket team coach Greg Chappell has claimed that police authorities in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, attempted to play down a serious assault he suffered from a disgruntled fan.

In a documentaryto be shown on ABC television tomorrow, the former Australia captain says he believed he was attacked because he was a foreigner.

"I got hit on the side of the head and my immediate reaction was 'he's broken my jaw', " Chappell said after he was hit and pushed as the Indian team arrived in Bhubaneswar to play a one-day international against the West Indies in January this year.

"Indians are very quick to complain about racism. There are plenty of Indian cricketers the guy could have attacked but he chose to attack me. I don't really buy the fact that he was talking about the lack of Orissa players in the Indian team. If that was the case, why didn't he accost the chairman of selectors or someone else who might have been involved in the selection process? The Australian quotes Greg as asking.

"Why would he attack one of the foreigners in the group - me as coach? There's a bit more to it than that, " he added.

Speaking to The Australian recently about the attack, Chappell, who is now coach of a new academy set up by the Rajasthan Cricket Association, is still annoyed about the attack and subsequent lack of action.

"As I said to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) in a letter, had it been one of the players who was attacked, there would have been an outcry but because it was me, no one seemed to care, " Chappell said.

"The reply came back talking about my racist comments.

"It was quite obvious it was a serious assault. It wasn't just a push in the back as the media was led to believe. There was a cover-up. Everyone went into cover-up mode. The whole thing was played down. The only phone call I got from the BCCI asked me whether it really happened. By that stage I had pretty much decided that the end of the contract was the end of the contract, " Greg said

Chappell claimed the force of the blow stunned him.

"This bloke came in from behind and gave me a whack in the right ear.

"Luckily he yelled out as he was leaping through the air to punch me and gave me enough warning to pull away a little bit. It was still a fairly solid blow. My legs buckled. I had a briefcase on wheels with a long handle and I was able to use it as support to stop me from going down. "

Chappell quit as coach four months later when India failed in the first round of a disastrous World Cup. (ANI)