County side Durham has said they will speak to head coach James Franklin “privately” over the physical harassment allegations made by Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal against the former New Zealand pacer. Earlier this year, in a podcast published by Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chahal had recalled an incident from 2011 when his then Mumbai Indians teammates Franklin and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds had allegedly tied him up while celebrating their win in the Champions League final that year.
“We are aware of recent news reports surrounding an incident in 2011 which name a member of our staff,” Durham said in a statement to ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“As with any matters involving employees, the club will speak privately with all parties involved to determine the facts.” Chahal also alleged that the duo had taped his mouth, left him in a room and forgot about him for a whole night.
Franklin, who was part of Mumbai Indians squad from 2011 to 2013, was appointed Durham coach in early 2019.
“It happened in 2011, when Mumbai Indians won the Champions League. We were in Chennai. He [Symonds] had had a lot of ‘fruit juice’. “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’. 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,” Chahal claimed.
According to Chahal, neither player has ever apologised.
The allegations against Franklin and Symonds have come to the fore after the leg-spinner revealed another shocking incident when a drunk player dangled him from the 15th-floor balcony of a Bengaluru hotel during a post-match IPL party in 2013.
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