December 7, 2010

Ashes 2010-11

Botham and Chappell square up in car-park

Andrew Miller

Ian Botham and Ian Chappell resumed their 30-year feud in spectacular fashion during the second Test in Adelaide, when they had to be pulled apart by their respective Sky and Channel Nine colleagues following a dust-up in the car-park at the close of the fourth day’s play.

Despite their regular stints in adjacent commentary boxes, neither man has spoken to the other in three decades, with the root of their feud lying in an incident at the Hilton Hotel during the Centenary Test in Melbourne in 1977, when the then-uncapped Botham claimed to have punched the recently retired Chappell off his bar-stool in response to his disparaging remarks about the English.

On Monday, the two came close to blows once again when, according to the Daily Mail, Chappell muttered something provocative in Botham’s direction, before both men dropped their bags and went for each other’s throats. “They might be aged 55 and 67, but neither of them are the type of people to give an inch in the face of conflict,” said a source at Channel Nine.

However, Chappell defended his position: "There was some words spoken in the car park and I am being painted as the instigator," he told 3AW. "I would accept 50 per cent of the blame but certainly wasn't the instigator and as far as the rest of the rubbish is concerned about having each other by the throat and having to be pulled apart that is one of those fairytales I just talked about."


Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine

RSS Feeds: Andrew Miller

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.