Buchanan critical of his 'soulless' players

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The Independent Online

John Buchanan, the Australian coach, said yesterday that he had no regrets about sending critical letters to his players and that he would continue to do so despite theirbeing frequently leaked to the media.

Buchanan, in a letter to the players, accused them of being "soulless" and of an "immature performance" after the unexpected four-wicket loss to India in the second Test in Adelaide. He also accused them of being distracted by "dealmaking and sponsorships".

Buchanan's letters have a history of getting into the media. On the 2001 Ashes tour of England, a memo to the Australian team relating theories from Chinese warrior Sun Tzu's The Art of War became public when it was placed under hotel doors of reporters as well as players. Similar incidents have happened during series against New Zealand and South Africa.

"I will continue to do that [write letters]," Buchanan said during Australia's training session before today's third Test against India.

* Brian Lara, who was hit on the left arm in the nets on Wednesday, has been passed fit to play for the West Indies against South Africa in the second Test in Durban today. But injuries deprive the West Indies of Chris Gayle and Corey Collymore.