Former Australian cricketer Greg Chappell (born Gregory Stephen Chappell) is considered one of the legends of the game. In his international career of nearly 15 years, Chappell scored over 7000 runs while troubling bowlers across the world. He also had a successful captaincy stint with the Aussies and lead his team to victory in 21 of the 48 matches he captained.
The era of 1970s was also known as the Chappell Era because of the dominance of the three brothers -Greg, Trevor and Ian. However, the name of Chappell also brings up the memory of the most controversial phases of Indian cricket. During his stint as Indian coach from 2005-07, Chappell was always surrounded by controversy and reports of his fallouts with Indian players often grabbed headlined in the press. As the former Australian batting legend celebrates his 73rd birthday today (August 7, 2021), we look at some of the lesser-known facts about him.
Fall out with Indian Captain Sourav Ganguly
Chappell joined the India team as head coach in 2005 after John Wright’s contract came to an end. India’s then captain Sourav Ganguly was keen on having him for the role. However, just a few months in his role, Chappell had a major fall out and Ganguly. He reportedly asked Ganguly to step down from his captaincy, a claim he later denied. However, things never got back to the same between the two and Ganguly was removed from the captaincy and lost his place in the team.
Credited for bringing young Indian players
While most of his stint as the Indian coach was overshadowed by controversy, Chappell is also credited for developing players like MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan. The latter played as a swing bowler in the team was promoted higher up the order on many occasions and proved the decision right with some good innings.
Book on Rahul Dravid
While Chappell shared a very strained relationship with most of the senior players of that time, he had a good bonding with then captain Rahul Dravid. Later, Chappell also wrote a book titled Rahul Dravid — Timeless Steel where he said that the wicketkeeper did not get enough support from his team.
Chappell was the captain of the Australian team when the infamous underarm bowling incident happened in 1981. New Zealand needed 6 runs of the last ball to tie the match, however, Chappell asked his brother and bowler Trevor to deliver an under-arm ball. The incident received a lot of flak from cricket fans and experts who considered it against the very spirit of the gain.
Century in first and last test
Chappell is among the only 4 players who have scored a century in their first and last test match. He started off his career with a century against England during the 1971 Ashes. The final century of his Test career came against Pakistan at the Syndey cricket ground.
Banned From Australian Dressing Room
Chappell was appointed as a selector of the Australian national side on October 29, 2010. His stint as the selector coincided with the dismal performance of the Aussies. It is reported that he was banned from entry in the dressing room after several players complained about him. He was later removed from the selector’s panel in August 2011.