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Greg Chappell is still popular

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali, IANS

Jaipur : Greg Chappell may not be India coach now but he is still popular as was evident here, with fans seeking his autograph and clicking his photograph both at the ground and the hotel where he is staying.

People of all ages have been approaching him for his autograph and to click him on their mobile phones. When Chappell, now advisor to the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) academy, and his wife Judy were at the restaurant for dinner Saturday night, all eyes were on them.

Soon a small girl, who was with her family at the table next to the Chappells’, requested him for an autograph and her father informed the former Australia captain that it was her birthday.

Chappell, draped in a maroon shawl over a light blue shirt, and Judy wished the little girl and signed the autograph, which was appreciated by all the guests at the restaurant. The Chappells enjoyed their meal and clearly looked relaxed, much more than when Greg was the India coach, until this March.


Sawai Man Singh Stadium undergoes change

The Sawai Man Singh Stadium, venue of the fifth India-Pakistan ODI, has undergone a sea change over the last few years. From being a makeshift ground for international cricket matches, the stadium, which had essentially been a multi-sports venue, has become a permanent centre.

The changes came after Lalit Modi defeated the Rungtas, who had ruled the RCA for many years. That Modi happens to be a close friend of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has helped develop the venue for the purpose of hosting international cricket matches.

RCA has now applied for Test status for the stadium and an International Cricket Council (ICC) representative recently visited the ground. Although the ground has hosted one Test against Pakistan way back in 1987, the ICC now wants all venues to meet stringent stipulations before they become eligible to host Tests and ODIs. The RCA is now waiting to hear from the ICC.