Ian Chappell vs Ian Botham: The 40 year old rivalry

Ian Chappell vs Ian Botham
01 Dec, 2017 by Liam Sheedy

Hostilities between Australia and England will resume when the second test begins in Adelaide on Saturday.

The Adelaide Oval has hosted some remarkable clashes between the old foes and this series feels particularly significant as it also marks the Ashes 140th anniversary.

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In 2010 England defeated Australia by 71 runs in Adelaide but the match is just as much remembered for an altercation between cricket legends Ian Chappell & Ian Botham in the Adelaide Oval car park.

The two needing to be pulled apart in the presence of the Nine and Sky commentary teams with the verbal scuffle threatening to escalate into a physical stoush.

Interviews since has seen both men hint it was the other who initiated the fracas not surprisingly.

So when did the bad blood between the legends begin? Who is to be believed? And will they ever bury the hatchet?

1977 Ian Chappell vs Ian Botham : The first clash

In 1977 the pair had their first run in. The 21-year old Englishman playing in Australia on a scholarship ended up at the same pub Chappell was drinking at and reportedly took offence to derogatory comments the Australian was making about the English.

Botham claims he punched Chappell over his comments which sent the Aussie flying into a table of Aussie footballers.

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I gave him three official warnings,” Botham recalled, “All of which he ignored, so the next time he started, I just flattened him.”

The former Australian Captain not surprisingly has a different recollection. 

Apart from having us in the same bar, the rest is a fairytale.”

Chappell claims he was threatened with an empty glass by Botham who said I’ll cut you from ear to ear.”

Media pundits

The duo are both in the media as prominent commentators and have been regular pundits since their playing days finished.

It has been inevitable both be in close proximity on numerous occasions in the last thirty years and both are currently fulfilling media duties covering the current Ashes series.

Ian Chappell vs Ian Botham

Do not expect a friendly catch-up to be on the cards. As former English Captain David Lloyd and Sky commentator has previously noted.  

Botham and Chappell are often in the same vicinity but for the good of world peace do everything they can to avoid each other.”

This sentiment also shared by former Aussie quick Jeff Thompson. 

“You can’t have them both in the same place because of this stupid feud that’s going on. I mean it’s just ridiculous.”

Still in the spotlight

A documentary ‘Forged in fire’ on the Ashes rivalry will go to air in the coming weeks with the Chappell/Botham feud prominently featured.

Given the barbs both have sprouted at each other over the last forty years, it seems unlikely the conflict will resolve.

When Ian Chappell has previously been asked about  putting an end to the animosity, he made his views perfectly clear.

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I’ve got no intention of making up with him unless he wants to apologise for making up lies about me. He and the truth have a very distant relationship. I don’t see that one ever repairing; certainly not from my side.”

Botham responded in typical fashion on what he thinks about the Australian. 

I couldn’t care less what he says.”

So not worth holding our breath for a reconciliation in the 40-year-old Ian Chappell vs Ian Botham rivalry. Seems more likely we will see a truce between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

Maybe one day the truth will come out. But when this documentary goes to air we may just see the war resume.

by Liam Sheedy – contributor
Follow on Facebook: Sheedy Says

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