September 26, 2013

The other side of Ian Chappell

The former Australia captain, known for his tough and aggressive approach, turns 70 today
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Ian Chappell: the sort of captain players would give their all for
Ian Chappell: the sort of captain players would give their all for © Getty Images

Former Test captain, journalist and broadcaster Ian Chappell is 70 today.

Throughout his successful sporting career, Chappelli was universally known for his tough, sometimes abrasive, take-no-prisoners approach. He could sledge with the best of them, and often it was very funny. In 1972, we played the Combined Universities in Oxford. Bob Massie was swinging the ball all over the place and their first-drop, Dudley Owen-Thomas, had trouble getting a bat to it. After being rapped on the pads for the umpteenth time, Owen-Thomas got down on one knee to do up his bootlaces. It was the end of the over and he noticed the first slipper, Chappelli, walking past. He eyeballed him and said, "I say, skipper…" nodding towards his bootlaces. "Piss off pal," Chappelli barked, "I only do up the bootlaces for batsmen."

This tough exterior coloured how everyone perceived Chappelli, yet there was, and is, a softer, compassionate side to him. When Chuck Fleetwood-Smith was down on his luck, penniless, without a roof over his head, Chappelli came to his side. He lifted Neil Hawke's spirit when he was gravely ill in hospital, and he went to see my old mate Terry Jenner when TJ was suffering inner turmoil in prison.

Former Test batsman Ross Edwards is one who has seen the softer side of Chappelli. Midway through the final Test of the 1975 Ashes, at The Oval, Edwards received a telegram informing him of the death of a close friend. Chappelli, who had seen the telegram, quietly went to his team-mate and said: "Rosco, if you prefer not to go back on to the field next session, it's okay by me."

I once asked Chappelli's mum, Jeanne, what had happened to Ian since he retired from cricket. "Has he mellowed? Is there a soft side to Ian Chappell?"

"Boy, is there ever a soft side to him," she laughed. There always has been, really."

In 2003, Chappelli's toughness on the tennis court was challenged. He won the Bayview Tennis Club championship doubles and was runner-up in singles. "When I heard my opponent in singles was an 11-year-old kid, I spoke to my doubles partner, Ken Grey, and said, 'I'm not comfortable about playing against an 11-year-old. If I serve hard, everyone will say I'm a prick'," Chappelli recounted. "Grey laughed: 'If you don't serve hard he'll run you all over the court, Chappelli. You'd better be on top of your game or the kid will demolish you.' I served hard and 11-year-old Michael Clisby beat me in straight sets."

As a captain he was very much in the Mark Taylor mould. He created for his players an environment of trust, empowerment and enjoyment. He knew instinctively that if the workplace was a happy one his charges would give their all for the boss. The players in Chappelli's Test teams revelled in the success of their team-mates - an essential collective quality for successful sporting teams.

Behind the microphone with the Nine commentary team, Chappelli is insightful in his comments, and while he does not take a backward step, he mostly builds a balanced for-and-against argument.

Much of his early summer days were spent watching his father, Martin, play cricket. In winter he was a bat boy at the Glenelg Baseball Club and this environment taught young Ian a few words and phrases. One day years later, as he was presenting a Nine Wide World of Sports segment, there was a mix-up by the production crew and the expected horse-racing vision did not appear, but a US hot-rod spectacular did. Chappelli momentarily lost his cool, even uttering the magic word in front of the camera.

Kerry Packer was watching the programme at the very time of Chappelli's outburst. In the wake of an instant stand-down, he summoned Chappelli to his office for a "please-explain". "Now, look here, son," Packer said, "I sacked Graham Kennedy for saying what you said on air, but he meant it. You didn't. You just couldn't help yourself. But don't do it again."

Chappelli knew that he had to heed Packer's warning. Another transgression like that one and his TV broadcasting career was kaput. His wife, Barbara-Ann, told her husband that if he did not swear anywhere - at home, at the office or in the pub - he would effectively solve the problem. Garry Sobers heard about Chappelli's iron-willed resolution to avoid saying anything untoward, anywhere and at any time, and rang his friend. "Hey Chappelli, I hear you are not swearing anymore. That's interesting. Next time we meet up for a beer, the conversation is going to be very one-sided and I suspect fairly dull, because I'll be doing all the talking."

Chappelli has taken up some good causes, including opposition to the Howard government's handling of the Tampa crisis. "I was yelling at the TV as the specials forces boarded the Tampa," Chappelli said. "After a while Barbara-Ann said, 'Bad things happen when good people do nothing.' That made me think. Yes, Barb's right. I just can't rail at the television set and do nothing. I am in a position where I have a public voice. Maybe I can do something here."

He became a special representative for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and he put his name to a letter calling for donations to raise money for the Afghan refugees. Late in 2001, UNHCR rang him to say that some of the money raised was to be put towards redeveloping a playing field and to build a gymnasium in East Timor.

Later that year Chappelli received a call from journalist Mike Coward asking if he would like to become patron of A Just Australia, a group dedicated to just treatment of refugees, consistent with the human rights standards that Australia has developed and endorsed. He got on board.

In 2003, he was part of a delegation that met Immigration minister Philip Ruddock, calling for urgent changes to the treatment of asylum seekers being kept in long-term detention in Australia. Knowing Chappelli there will be no turning back for him on this issue.

That year at the 2003 Allan Border Medal function, Chappelli gave a moving speech that heralded the induction of the 1868 Aboriginal cricket team into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

Chappelli loves the game with a passion. He'll get with his mates and chat over a beer or a good red. There's always good-natured banter and laughter. The stories sometimes get a bit embellished, but the blokes in his company love his passion, knowledge and extraordinary memory of long-gone events.

He was a great captain, a mighty player, and today we will raise a glass to this compassionate fighter for the underdog and elder statesman of world cricket.

Ashley Mallett took 132 Tests wickets in 38 Tests for Australia. An author of over 25 books, he has written biographies of Clarrie Grimmett, Doug Walters, Jeff Thomson and Ian Chappell

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kurups on September 26, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Wish you a fantastic Birthday!!! to an awesomely strong character, and in my view, THE best analysers of the game. My first choice to listen to.. You are an absolute inspiration and wish you to continue delivering the wonderful service to cricket fans like us. Have a blast this Birthday, in true Chappeli style! on behalf of all the Indian cricket fans, here is great toast!

  • on September 29, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    Happy birthday sir...i think ur views are honest...apart from 2007-srt retirement views...i m ur big fan sir.

  • cloudmess on September 28, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    I always read Chappelli's articles - he's articulate, but direct, opinionated but fair-minded, tough but compassionate. He represents everything good about Australian cricket.

  • on September 27, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    " Chance at mid-off...and well taken!"...Happy Birthday Sir!

  • on September 27, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    While I do not agree with everything Chappeli says, I must say I enjoy his commentary. He is all about making the game exciting. And yes, he is quite funny.

  • sportofpain on September 26, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    Happy Birthday Ian. You have lived a rich life and you come across as a good man. When I was a young boy with dreams of playing for India my friends used to call me Chappell :-) and my brother was called Lloyd because he had curly hair.

    You grew up in a simpler and nicer time and place and it is good to see your resultant straightforward approach to cricket and life.

    Many more years to you Ian filled with good health, cheer, beer and the occasional swear:-)

  • srikanthGM on September 26, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    Many Happy Returns of the Day. Ian always talks straight and walks the talk. He never backs down from doing or saying what is right - that is true service to the game we all so dearly love. Hope some of the cricketing great's of India can follow what this Aussie giant does and not just shrivel before BCCI or shout lustily at each IPL match at the top of their lungs. Where is honor in that?

  • ProdigyA on September 26, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Happy return of the day. I do not agree with some of your articles, but I think you have a valid point most of the time and its good that you put them in writting. Also you are not one of those who want to bash the BCCI at the drop of a penny.

  • on September 26, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    A street fighting sportsman, a upright cricket analyst and a good human being. Ian, wishes for a happy birthday and a long association wid cricket. Likes of U are'nt made more frequently nowadays.

  • Unmesh_cric on September 26, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    I haven't seen much of Ian Chappell- the player, but as a commentator one thing I like about him is he is not afraid to speak his mind. If he thinks a player is taking a wrong approach to an inning etc. he will say it...doesn't matter how big the player is. The problem with commentary these days is that everybody is so diplomatic. If somebody is a high profile player/administrator they are very careful about saying anything remotely negative about them. But Chappell and Manjarekar are exceptions to this in my opinion. You may agree or disagree with Ian's point of view, but you can be sure he will frankly say what he wants to say..doesn't hide behind diplomacy. Happy birthday, Ian!

  • kurups on September 26, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Wish you a fantastic Birthday!!! to an awesomely strong character, and in my view, THE best analysers of the game. My first choice to listen to.. You are an absolute inspiration and wish you to continue delivering the wonderful service to cricket fans like us. Have a blast this Birthday, in true Chappeli style! on behalf of all the Indian cricket fans, here is great toast!

  • on September 29, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    Happy birthday sir...i think ur views are honest...apart from 2007-srt retirement views...i m ur big fan sir.

  • cloudmess on September 28, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    I always read Chappelli's articles - he's articulate, but direct, opinionated but fair-minded, tough but compassionate. He represents everything good about Australian cricket.

  • on September 27, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    " Chance at mid-off...and well taken!"...Happy Birthday Sir!

  • on September 27, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    While I do not agree with everything Chappeli says, I must say I enjoy his commentary. He is all about making the game exciting. And yes, he is quite funny.

  • sportofpain on September 26, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    Happy Birthday Ian. You have lived a rich life and you come across as a good man. When I was a young boy with dreams of playing for India my friends used to call me Chappell :-) and my brother was called Lloyd because he had curly hair.

    You grew up in a simpler and nicer time and place and it is good to see your resultant straightforward approach to cricket and life.

    Many more years to you Ian filled with good health, cheer, beer and the occasional swear:-)

  • srikanthGM on September 26, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    Many Happy Returns of the Day. Ian always talks straight and walks the talk. He never backs down from doing or saying what is right - that is true service to the game we all so dearly love. Hope some of the cricketing great's of India can follow what this Aussie giant does and not just shrivel before BCCI or shout lustily at each IPL match at the top of their lungs. Where is honor in that?

  • ProdigyA on September 26, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Happy return of the day. I do not agree with some of your articles, but I think you have a valid point most of the time and its good that you put them in writting. Also you are not one of those who want to bash the BCCI at the drop of a penny.

  • on September 26, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    A street fighting sportsman, a upright cricket analyst and a good human being. Ian, wishes for a happy birthday and a long association wid cricket. Likes of U are'nt made more frequently nowadays.

  • Unmesh_cric on September 26, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    I haven't seen much of Ian Chappell- the player, but as a commentator one thing I like about him is he is not afraid to speak his mind. If he thinks a player is taking a wrong approach to an inning etc. he will say it...doesn't matter how big the player is. The problem with commentary these days is that everybody is so diplomatic. If somebody is a high profile player/administrator they are very careful about saying anything remotely negative about them. But Chappell and Manjarekar are exceptions to this in my opinion. You may agree or disagree with Ian's point of view, but you can be sure he will frankly say what he wants to say..doesn't hide behind diplomacy. Happy birthday, Ian!

  • kharidra on September 26, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    Legendary is written all over from the moment such personalities surface and display skills in the field that one is passionate about. There is a discernible difference between selfishness and stamp of individuality. It is that quality and ability that is in the DNA of legends that they are able also able to draw a distinction between team work and stamp of individuality. By being able to present a clear cut difference and also being able to make the difference Chappelli is among the Legendary figures of cricket.

  • on September 26, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Mr. Chappell, in 1969, I followed my first Test series. Bill Lawry's team was touring India. I remember the 99 you made at Calcutta. I felt bad for you, but remembered just in time that Wadekar had also made 99, and you were the one who caught him. Was he the one who caught you? So long ago. But amongst the Australians, you stood out for some reason. Over the years one has grown to admire you. Have a great 70th birthday.

  • on September 26, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Happy Birthday Ian! I have learnt a lot from you in my life just listening to your stories. I think Ashley Mallet puts it in perfectly that Ian Chappel has an extraordinary memory of long gone events.The clarity in the stories and the inspirational learning that you provide are fantastic. Speech on Tiger Pataudi is a just a story to exemplify this. I promise readers like me will keep Ian's legacy to remember and share his stories and love the game like him.

  • KingOwl on September 26, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    It was good reading about his charitable work, helping out refugees. Those few sentences say more about the nature of the man than the remaining 90% of the article. Happy B'day to Mr. C.

  • on September 26, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    Congratulations, Mr Chappell. I last saw you in the flesh at the Wanderers in late February 1967, fourth test against the Springboks. Was very happy that we got you cheaply, lbw to Goddard in the first innings and a not out in the second to save the game for Aus. In my view, Bobby Simpson did not let you bowl enough during that series. Unfairly so, I reckon. Perhaps you used the hook shot too often and the South Africans always set the trap! Nevertheless, you were always fun to watch and you no doubt added to the value of game.

  • on September 26, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    Many many happy returns of the day! Never saw him play live but Chapell is one of the very few person that I really like to listen to as a commentator.

  • gujratwalla on September 26, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Many happy returns of the day Ian.Ever since the first test of the 1968 Ashes series you have been my favourite Australian.I still remember the headlines Jim Swanton wrote about the Leeds Test of that year....England's hopes sink against Chappell!A brave man in all aspects of life and an inspiration to all cricketers.

  • indianpunter on September 26, 2013, 13:47 GMT

    Chappelli, have a great one, have a blast, no less! In my book, you are by far the best; head and shoulders above the rest in the critical analysis of the game. Your fairness , alacrity, sense of history and overall, the passion you have for the game shines thru in everything you say. By espousing the refugee cause ( from which you stand to gain nothing) shows that you are made of greater steel than the rest of us. Take a bow! you are an inspiration to people like myself.

  • TheFamousEccles on September 26, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Sorry Harshakor. Against South Africa in 9 tests, Ian Chappell averaged less than 17. Better than Greg or Viv? Not a chance

  • Dagur on September 26, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    There being no TVs and telecasts, I had only followed his exploits in News Papers and on Radio. He led a team of strong and Great characters like Lillee, Marsh, Thomson, Walters and Greig Chappel and led them admirably well. For this alone he must be rated as the best captain ever. Not only he played the game hard, he was always consistent with his characteristic strong views. Just recall his words on his premature retirement : "I knew, they (Selectors) are going to dump me as and when they get a chance and I never wanted to give them the one" and also his retort "Cricket is not for Sissies, it is to be played hard way. If he (Kim Huge) is perturbed by what Ian, siting in the stadium, says, he has no business to be there in the middle" He has indeed been fearless in his deeds, views and words. His cricketing insight is unmatched. Supreme Cricketer ! Many more happy returns of this day !

  • 07sanjeewakaru on September 26, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Good on Martin and Jenny for giving this Gem to the world!Happy 70's Chappelli.! I am not going to stop listening cricket commentary until you around. Love your spine mate!We want a century. This may be form the biggest Chappelli fan in Srl Lanka.......Long live!

  • Chris_P on September 26, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Many also don't know he played Claxton Shield for South Australia in baseball & was selected in an all-Australian team. Baseball, at the time was played in the winter months & many cricketers played it in the off season. A wonderful combatitive batsman who really cared for a better deal for all players.

  • CricketChat on September 26, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    Happy birthday Ian! Hope there will be many more to come. Easily one of the better commentators we have had for a while. Always supporting weaker teams and ready for a hard, fair fight. Don't understand why he is not in the thick of things helping Aussie national team as they are going through a tough transitional period.

  • J751 on September 26, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I never saw him play,but I consider him one of the best commentators along with Richie Benaud.

  • arun_39 on September 26, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @harshthakor - you mention Chappell striding out to Prasanna. Wanted to recount this. I asked Pras (we're related) who was the better player of spin (according to him) between Ian and Greg. Without batting an eyelid he said - Ian.

  • harshthakor on September 26, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    If I had to choose a batsman to bat for my life on any type of wicket against any type of attack in a crisis I would choose Ian Chappell Fe batsman intimidated their opponents like Ian.As a captain he reminded one of a great chess player making brilliant tactical moves.Ian niggled great bowlers like no other batsmen.

    He was complete contrast to bother Greg who was technically more correct and statistically convincingly better.However Ian was the batsman who weathered a storm more than brother Greg.I can never forget Ian Chappell's 156 out of 328 in 1975-76 in the 2nd test at Perth v West Indies where he dsiplayed the grit of a commander.He also played some outstanding knocks in Kerry Packer World series cricket where he displayed his ability to wage a battle of attrition.Ian could also keep the scoreboard moving more than Border or Miandad

    Arguably Ian Chappell was the best Australian batsman after Bradman or the best ever Australian captain ever.

  • harshthakor on September 26, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    To me the best batsman in the world in the 1970's in a crisis was Ian Chappell,who would outclass brother Greg or even Viv Richards.Gary Sobers considered Ian Chappell the best batsman in the world in 1979 and ahead of brother Greg.At one down he averaged 50.84 ,the best since Don Bradman upto that period.To me with Javed Miandad and Alan Border he was the best post-war batsman in a crisis.

    Ian played both great pace and spin wonderfully.Who can forget him striding down to spinners like Prasanna or challenging the great paceman.Even in full flow the West Indian pace attack of the 1970's found it hard to dismiss Ian.Unlike Geoff Boycott he kept the scoreboard ticking.Ian Chappel could master turning and bouncy wickets

    To me Ian was the best post-war captain being a master tactician who led like a military general. He literally ressurected Australian cricket creating a renaissance in 1972 and was at his best from 1972-1975 as a skipper.His leadership often revived a sinking ship.

  • wouldlovetoplayagain on September 26, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Other than his brilliant playing career, and captaincy, I will always remember Ian for three things - 1. His public stance on asylum seekers 2. His fight for recognition of the extraordinary 1868 Aboriginal cricket team 3. His fight for better wages and conditions for professional cricketers, culminating in World Series Cricket, and the many innovations that came from this (who would have ever thought you would see cricket under lights in England in colored clothes)

    I caught the bus to Sydney in 1980 to see his return to Test Cricket, and cheered with the rest of the crowd from the outer when he ran back from slip to field his first ball. He then top scored on a tough pitch in our first innings.

  • sramesh_74 on September 26, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    In the midst of all the verbal diarrhea that constitutes television commentary, Ian Chappel is one of the few sane voices.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on September 26, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    Definitely 1 of Aus best captains . Was a top class m/o bat to boot. No doubt ,he led his team to a string of successes in his time at helm. Best of them all - although much before my time - the continued demolition of 'you know who' in the Ashes . As well as the terror his famed pace pack ,esp. Lillee and Thommo leashed on Botham and co. , that they remember even till this day .Even before Border,Chappel led the brick work for the glorious Aus dynasty of many years in more recent times and is a part of the legacy. Oh, and a v happy B'day -:)

  • vatsap on September 26, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    One of the last of the mohicans, who speaks his mind right or wrong unwilling to bend on the whims and fancies of Cricket boards across the world. Happy Birthday.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on September 26, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Happy Birthday Ian Chappel, my father's childhood hero and one of my favourite commentators.

  • on September 26, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Enjoy him while you can, there will never be another like him! When the final day of judgment comes, they will say of him: This was a very good human being, yes a very good man! Many, many happy returns, mate.

  • on September 26, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Happy Birthday Chappelli !!! He was one of the great captains the cricket world had ever seen, a good batsman and certainly the greatest cricket analyst ever. He is totally unbiased and have guts to speak the truth. And as Ashley correctly pointed out he is true 'Statesman of World cricket', he never hesitates to express his views and opinion on the real issues affecting the world of cricket. Every day I check cricinfo's 'Specials' section whether there is new article from Chappelli. I hope he will be active in cricket world for at least 30 more years!

  • paddynair on September 26, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I have often wondered what makes the average Aussie sportsperson tick.Ian Chappell seems to be the typical type-highly abrasive,skillful,knowledgeable with good leadership qualities.Unlike his brother Greg,he is also adaptable and malleable to situations and does not regard himself as a portrayer of the gospel truth.That is why he has often been a delightful though forthright member of the commentary box.What comes across is his deep,in-depth knowlege of the game.He does not react to off-the cuff performances with extreme praises but tends to watch player in all circumstances before arriving at an opinion.A real contributor to the game of cricket !

  • on September 26, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    I grew up listening to Ian Chappell on air. I always admired the frankness of opinion and the tactical nous, but over time it is his constant harking back to stories of Vic Richardson and co that helped me appreciate the breadth of history this game carries with it. One day I hope I can sit down with Mr Chappell, buy him a beer (or 10) and listen to his stories. That'd be awesome. Happy birthday, Mr Chappell.

  • on September 26, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    many many happy returns of the day,CHAPELLI!!Although I haven't seen him bat,I love him speak about the game and life in general.

  • czzling on September 26, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Truly inspirational man.Sir Ian Chappel is my inspiration to lead a life of honesty and integrity. Love the way you treat sanjay manjrekar. Sanjay comes across as a bit shy unable to open up...but you make him feel like a champ. He seems like a different person when with you. The English banter, the passion for the game, the anecdotes, you are a legend sir.If i had one wish to make it would be to be around people like you. _/\_

  • im_vishu on September 26, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    I would like to borrow the opening words from program 'opening up', "one of the finest story tellers cricket ever got",to convey my wishes to Chappelli. My love for Chappelli's articles started with an article on captaincy "Imagination and premonition are virtues of a good captain"(http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/474793.html). Chappelli can talk for hours on captaincy. Pleasure to read his articles and listen to his commentary. He is aa fine selector too.Ater all, he won super selector contest many times.Happy B'day Chappelli :)

    [find the link here http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/video_audio/463005.html?page=3;genre=35;]

  • aus_trad on September 26, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Happy birthday Chappelli! Still the best Aus captain I have seen in over 40 years of watching test cricket - the only one who never lost a series as captain. He had that rare ability to see in advance what a batsman was likely to do next, and therefore to have a fielder in just the right position. Also one of the 10 best Aus batsmen of my time: he, Allan Border and Steve Waugh would be the 3 guys I would most like to have "in the trenches" beside me, if it ever came to that. The only negative is that he effectively introduced the culture of sledging to Aus cricket - which as far as I am concerned has no place in our great game.

  • aus_trad on September 26, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Happy birthday Chappelli! Still the best Aus captain I have seen in over 40 years of watching test cricket - the only one who never lost a series as captain. He had that rare ability to see in advance what a batsman was likely to do next, and therefore to have a fielder in just the right position. Also one of the 10 best Aus batsmen of my time: he, Allan Border and Steve Waugh would be the 3 guys I would most like to have "in the trenches" beside me, if it ever came to that. The only negative is that he effectively introduced the culture of sledging to Aus cricket - which as far as I am concerned has no place in our great game.

  • im_vishu on September 26, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    I would like to borrow the opening words from program 'opening up', "one of the finest story tellers cricket ever got",to convey my wishes to Chappelli. My love for Chappelli's articles started with an article on captaincy "Imagination and premonition are virtues of a good captain"(http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/474793.html). Chappelli can talk for hours on captaincy. Pleasure to read his articles and listen to his commentary. He is aa fine selector too.Ater all, he won super selector contest many times.Happy B'day Chappelli :)

    [find the link here http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/video_audio/463005.html?page=3;genre=35;]

  • czzling on September 26, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    Truly inspirational man.Sir Ian Chappel is my inspiration to lead a life of honesty and integrity. Love the way you treat sanjay manjrekar. Sanjay comes across as a bit shy unable to open up...but you make him feel like a champ. He seems like a different person when with you. The English banter, the passion for the game, the anecdotes, you are a legend sir.If i had one wish to make it would be to be around people like you. _/\_

  • on September 26, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    many many happy returns of the day,CHAPELLI!!Although I haven't seen him bat,I love him speak about the game and life in general.

  • on September 26, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    I grew up listening to Ian Chappell on air. I always admired the frankness of opinion and the tactical nous, but over time it is his constant harking back to stories of Vic Richardson and co that helped me appreciate the breadth of history this game carries with it. One day I hope I can sit down with Mr Chappell, buy him a beer (or 10) and listen to his stories. That'd be awesome. Happy birthday, Mr Chappell.

  • paddynair on September 26, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I have often wondered what makes the average Aussie sportsperson tick.Ian Chappell seems to be the typical type-highly abrasive,skillful,knowledgeable with good leadership qualities.Unlike his brother Greg,he is also adaptable and malleable to situations and does not regard himself as a portrayer of the gospel truth.That is why he has often been a delightful though forthright member of the commentary box.What comes across is his deep,in-depth knowlege of the game.He does not react to off-the cuff performances with extreme praises but tends to watch player in all circumstances before arriving at an opinion.A real contributor to the game of cricket !

  • on September 26, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Happy Birthday Chappelli !!! He was one of the great captains the cricket world had ever seen, a good batsman and certainly the greatest cricket analyst ever. He is totally unbiased and have guts to speak the truth. And as Ashley correctly pointed out he is true 'Statesman of World cricket', he never hesitates to express his views and opinion on the real issues affecting the world of cricket. Every day I check cricinfo's 'Specials' section whether there is new article from Chappelli. I hope he will be active in cricket world for at least 30 more years!

  • on September 26, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    Enjoy him while you can, there will never be another like him! When the final day of judgment comes, they will say of him: This was a very good human being, yes a very good man! Many, many happy returns, mate.

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on September 26, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Happy Birthday Ian Chappel, my father's childhood hero and one of my favourite commentators.

  • vatsap on September 26, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    One of the last of the mohicans, who speaks his mind right or wrong unwilling to bend on the whims and fancies of Cricket boards across the world. Happy Birthday.