Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell has decided to end his stunning 45-year-long commentary career.
The 78-year-old former Australia skipper, globally known for his intelligent views on the game and straight talk, became part of a distinctive voices team that backgrounded broadcasts of Australian cricket for more than three decades, alongside Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and Tony Greig.
“I remember the day when I knew I’d had enough of playing cricket. I looked at the clock and it was five past 11 on a day of play and I thought, ‘S**t, if you’re clock-watching at that time, I have to go,’ ESPNcricinfo quoted Chappell as saying.
“So when it comes to commentary, I’ve been thinking about it. I had a minor stroke a few years back and I got off lucky. But it just makes everything harder. And I just thought with all the travel and, you know, walking upstairs and things like that, it’s all just going to get harder.
“Then I read what Rabbits [legendary rugby league commentator Ray Warren] said with retirement and it really struck home when I read the bit where he said, ‘you’re always one sentence closer to making a mistake,” he added.
Before entering the commentary box he represented Australia in 75 Test matches, 30 of them as captain.
“Kerry [Packer, the media mogul who owned Channel Nine] wanted to sack me a couple of times,” Chappell said.
“He used to get the s***s about one-day cricket, because that was his baby. And I might have said something about one-day cricket. With Kerry it was just like a storm – you’d let it blow over till the next one came.”
Talking about what would he like to be remembered as a commentator, Chappell replied: “It’s up to other people to decide what they think of me and some will think I’ve been all right. Some will think I’ve been a pr**k. That doesn’t bother me one bit.”
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