Ian Botham and Ian Chappell are two of the most iconic figures in the history of cricket. However, their rivalry was not limited to on the field but also off it, including the commentary box.
It all began in 1977 when the duo were involved in an altercation at a bar in Melbourne. Chappell claimed that Botham had tried to hit him with a broken glass, while Botham denied the allegation. The incident led to a bitter feud.
Now after more than 40 years have passed, Botham and Chappell speaking for the Channel 9 documentary The Longest Feud, revisited their rivalry where the former Aussie captain deemed the episode as a “terrible” incident.
“I’ve had mates say ‘why don’t you just make up’ and I say ‘well, firstly, if he wants to apologise for the lies he has told I would accept that, but why would I make up and be friends with a guy who I have nothing in common with, I think his commentary is the worst of the long term commentators, I have no interest in his interests and I have nothing to talk to him about,” Chappell was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.
“In other words, if I sat down with him it would be boring as hell to me and why do I want to put myself through that? So that probably gives you an indication of how much fun it was sitting down with him. I would have preferred the dentist’s drill to sitting down there.
“I have nothing in common with the bloke apart from the same first name and, OK, we probably both played right-handed.”
Recalling the episode at the Hilton Hotel Chappell told News Corp: “When he put the beer glass to my face and said ‘I’ll cut you from ear to ear,’ we were actually playing against each other the next day, because I was playing for North Melbourne in club cricket.”
“I said to him, ‘mate, if you cut me with a beer glass it will confirm what I already think of you, that you are a coward, but if you cut me with a cricket ball tomorrow that would mean something. But the ball had better bounce first because if you do it with a full toss, if I am capable, I am coming down your end and I will hit you over the head with the bat,” he added.