Durham County Cricket Club has revealed they will “speak privately” with their head coach James Franklin following allegations that he had physically harassed Yuzvendra Chahal when they were Mumbai Indians team-mates in 2011.
“We are aware of recent news reports surrounding an incident in 2011 which name a member of our staff,” Durham said in a statement sent to ESPNcricinfo. “As with any matters involving employees, the club will speak privately with all parties involved to determine the facts.”
Chahal alleged earlier this year that Franklin – along with another Mumbai player, Andrew Symonds – had “tied my hands and legs” and “taped my mouth” before forgetting about him and leaving him in a room overnight while celebrating their win in the Champions League final that year.”It happened in 2011, when Mumbai Indians won the Champions League. We were in Chennai. He [Symonds] had had a lot of ‘fruit juice’,” Chahal recalled. “I don’t know what he was thinking, but he and James Franklin got together and tied my hands and legs and said, ‘no, you’ve to open [the knots]’.
“They were so lost that they taped my mouth and forgot about me completely during the party. Then they all left and, in the morning, someone came to clean [the room] and saw me, and called a few others and untied me. They asked me since when I had been there, and I said, ‘I’ve been here the whole night’. So that became a funny story.
“When asked if Symonds and Franklin had apologised after that, Chahal said, “No, they said when you drink so much juice you don’t remember stuff in the morning.”
Chahal made the comments several months ago on a Royal Challengers Bangalore podcast but they have come into focus afresh this week after he recounted another incident involving an unnamed Mumbai team-mate. On the second occasion, Chahal alleged that he had been hung out of a 15th-floor hotel balcony by a drunk team-mate.
Franklin was appointed Durham coach in early 2019 and, along with director of cricket Marcus North, has overseen an upturn in results which saw them start the 2022 County Championship season as the main contenders to challenge Nottinghamshire for the Division Two title.
He was part of Mumbai’s squad from 2011 to 2013, making 25 appearances across the IPL and the Champions League.