Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell and Englishmen Sir Ian Botham renewed a 30-year-old grudge, when they had to be separated after having a dispute in the car park outside the Adelaide Oval after the fourth day’s play of the second Ashes Test.
According to the Daily News, their Sky and Channel 9 colleagues intervened after Chappell muttered a provocative comment as the pair walked past each other.
They have not spoken to each other since 1980 despite crossing paths at many cricket grounds around the world.
Botham was waiting for his Sky transport to collect him outside the Adelaide Oval and after Chappell’s comment the Englishman reportedly turned around and said ”What did you say?”
After Chappell made another incendiary remark, both of them dropped their luggage and were at each others” throats.
A Channel 9 source who works with Chappell said: “They went for each other all right, and it could have got very nasty if there hadn”t been people on hand to keep them apart.”
“They reacted quickly because we all know the history between these two. 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,” he added.
The pair first came to blows during the Centenary Test at Melbourne in March 1977. A then uncapped 21-year-old Botham was playing club cricket in Australia happened to be in the same bar as Chappell next to the Hilton Hotel.
Botham reacted to a comment about England from Chappell who had recently retired from international cricket
Botham states that he landed a punch on Chappell that sent him sprawling off his bar stool into a group of Aussie Rules footballers, scattering their drinks.
Botham, who hurdled a car bonnet to get at him, then chased Chappell out of the bar.
Chappell’s version of the event is that Botham had annoyed him about not wanting to tour England that year because “too many blokes are looking to knock your block off” and that “everyone”s looking for you because you”re a p****” before pushing him off his chair. Chappell says he then walked calmly out, pursued by a ranting Botham.
Since then the pair, despite working together for Channel 9 during the 1998-99 Ashes tour, have only traded insults.