Sydney, Nov 14: In a sensational disclosure, Greg Chappell, the former coach of the Indian cricket team, has alleged an attempted cover-up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after he was ''racially abused'' at an airport in Orissa.
These accusations were levelled by Chappell in a documentary which will be aired by the ABC television channel next week.
The accusations assume added significance due to the recent controversy over alleged racial abuse of Aussie batsman Andrew Symonds by spectators in India.
According to the former coach, he was singled out by the errant fan simply 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 an ODI against the West Indies in earlier 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,'' he added.
The Australian went on to dismiss the theory that the accused fan was disgruntled over the lack of Orissa players in the Indian team. ''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? Why would he attack one of the foreigners in the group - me as coach? There's a bit more to it than that,'' he stated.
The Aussie, who was the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1973, alleged that the BCCI ignored his complaints and tried to hush up the matter. ''As I said to the BCCI 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.'' ''There was a cover-up," he added. ''Everyone went into cover-up mode. 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.
The whole thing was played down. The only phone call I got from the BCCI asked me whether it really happened.'' Chappell was appointed as the coach of Team India in May 2005.
He quit after the disastrous World Cup campaign in the West Indies earlier this year when India made a humiliating first round exit.