Greg Chappell

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He was – indeed, is – one of the three finest batsmen in the world; probably the best onside player of modern times; quick in reaction, superbly poised, an immaculate stylist.

World Series Cricket (1977–1979)

Chappell was happy for brother Ian to captain the WSC Australian team, which allowed him to concentrate on his batting.[ citation needed ] In the first season of WSC, he returned to type with 661 runs at an average of 60. The Australians struggled against the array of talented players assembled to represent the West Indian and World teams, and the emphasis on fast bowling destroyed the confidence of many batsmen, who took to wearing helmets for safety. Chappell eventually opted for a helmet with temple guards only – he never wore one with a grille. He never missed an opportunity to slip into a cap when facing medium pace or spin.

In the final "Supertest" of the first season, Chappell captained the Australian team as his brother had suffered a broken finger. After four losses in five matches, the Australians turned matters around, thanks to a magnificent 246* by Greg Chappell, the highest innings played during the existence of WSC. However, the constant diet of fast bowling got to Chappell in the next season, and he managed to pass fifty in the Supertests just once. With a WSC tour of the West Indies looming, Chappell was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy and one side of his face was paralysed. Doctors and family advised him to miss the trip, but Chappell was determined to go and utilise a modified technique he had devised for facing the relentless fast bowling.

After a slow start, Chappell hit the richest vein of form in his career. [36] In quick succession, he peeled off 45 and 90 in Barbados, 7 and 150 in Trinidad, 113 in Guyana and finished his WSC career with 104 and 85 in Antigua, all scored against an attack of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner on their home wickets. [37] Unfortunately for Chappell, WSC matches are not included in official statistics as he scored five hundreds in 14 Supertests and a total of 1415 runs at 56.6 average. [38] In all, he missed 24 Test matches during his exile from official cricket.

Post-WSC years (1979–1984)

When WSC players rejoined official cricket for 1979–80, there was plenty of debate over the Australian captaincy. Chappell was the far from unanimous choice, [39] but led the Test team in twin series, against England (won 3–0) and West Indies (lost 0–2), and the first triangular ODI series where Australia failed to reach the final. It was a mixed bag of results and the programming came in for some criticism. [40] Chappell led by example in scoring 74 and 124 in the Brisbane Test against the West Indies in his comeback to Test cricket. His 98* guided Australia to victory over England at Sydney, then 114 and 40* extracted a similar result at Melbourne. While he averaged 44 with the bat and claimed seven wickets in the ODIs, a constant shuffling of positions ensured an uneven Australian performance. [41]

Despite protesting the strenuous nature of the players' workload in this new era, Chappell found himself leading the team to Pakistan two weeks after the end of the Australian season. [42] Pakistan narrowly won the first Test, then prepared featherbed wickets for the remaining two matches. [43] At Faisalabad, Chappell made 235 and as a protest at the pitch, allowed all eleven Australians to have a bowl in Pakistan's innings – the first time this had happened in a Test since 1884. [44] Australia lost the series 0–1. Later in the year, Australia played a second Centenary Test, this time to commemorate the first Test played in England, and the match (played at Lords) ended in a draw due to poor weather. One of only four players who played both matches, [19] Chappell scored 47 and 59, but his best remembered contribution to the match was an attempted citizen's arrest (along with England captain Ian Botham) of an MCC member who attacked one of the umpires in a very ill-tempered scene. [45]

The 1980–81 season brought another three-way competition, this time with New Zealand and India. In the Tests, Australia had a convincing win over the Kiwis, but was held to a drawn series against India. Chappell was in good form throughout the summer, but managed only two international centuries. The first came at Sydney in an ODI against New Zealand, when Chappell set a then record Australian score of 138*. Early in the new year, on the same ground, he played his first Test against India. Despite suffering a bad stomach upset, Chappell hit 204, an innings described by Wisden as "masterly". [46] However, this season is best remembered for the triangular ODI series, specifically the third of the best of five finals series, played in Melbourne on 1 February 1981 (See #Underarm controversy, below).

Chappell experienced his only extended run of poor form during the 1981–82 Australian season, which featured Test and One Day matches against the West Indies and Pakistan. His 201 in the second test of the season, against Pakistan, was his only score of note and he registered seven ducks in total in the international matches, including four consecutive ducks spread across two Test matches and two One Day matches. Chappell's average in the Test matches was 30.6 (13.6 without the double century) and his average in the One Day matches was 17.7.

From 1981 onwards, Chappell did not make himself available for most overseas tours. Thus Kim Hughes was captain for the 1981 and 1982 tours of England and Pakistan respectively, before Chappell was returned the captaincy for the Australian summers of 1981–82 and 1982–83. Chappell retired as captain in 1983, playing his last test series (1983–84) under Hughes as captain.


Chappell was batsman of the ODI team concurrently with his Test captaincy, registering 21 wins and 25 losses from 49 matches; all but four of these matches were after the end of World Series Cricket, and Chappell never captained Australia in a Cricket World Cup tournament. His batting exploits in ODIs were not quite of the same magnitude as his Test match career, but he did hold the Australian record single-innings score (138 not against New Zealand in 1980 [47] ) for more than ten years. His ODI captaincy career is most commonly remembered for the "underarm" incident in 1981 (see below).

Chappell played his last Test match in January 1984, making 182 in his final innings. Thus, Chappell became the first Test batsman in history to score centuries in both his first and last Test innings. Of all the Test batsmen who have retired since 1974 and scored more than 2,000 Test runs, Chappell's Test batting average of 53.86 is the third highest, behind Kumar Sangakkara (57.41) and Jacques Kallis (55.37). And if Chappell's batting average in Kerry Packer's "Supertests" (the hardest cricket Chappell says he ever played) were added to his test record, his overall average would be 54.30

Greg Chappell
Personal information
Full nameGregory Stephen Chappell
Born (1948-08-07) 7 August 1948 (age 73)
Unley, South Australia
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
BowlingRight arm medium
Role Batsman
Relations Ian Chappell (brother)
Trevor Chappell (brother)
Vic Richardson (grandfather)
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  251)11 December 1970 v  England
Last Test6 January 1984 v  Pakistan
ODI debut(cap  1)5 January 1971 v  England
Last ODI30 April 1983 v  Sri Lanka
Domestic team information
Greg Chappell's Captaincy Record
1975–76West Indies(home)6510
1976–77Pakistan (home)3111
1976–77New Zealand (away)2101
1976–77England (home)1100
1977England (away)5032
1979–80West Indies (home)3021
1979–80England (home)3300
1979–80Pakistan (away)3012
1980England (away)1001
1980–81New Zealand (home)3201
1980–81India (home)3111
1981–82Pakistan (home)3210
1981–82West Indies (home)3111
1981–82New Zealand (away)3111
1982–83England (home)5212
1982–83Sri Lanka (away)1100


Underarm bowling incident

Chappell instigated the underarm bowling incident in the New Zealand–Australia One Day International on 1 February 1981. With the series tied at 1–1, Australia looked to have gained the upper hand by batting first and setting New Zealand a chase of 235 runs. Undisciplined bowling and fielding by the Australians, and a great innings from Kiwi opener Bruce Edgar narrowed the target to 15 with one over to play. Chappell's younger brother, Trevor, a batting all-rounder who specialised in bowling at the end of an innings, delivered the final over. From the first five balls, Trevor Chappell took two for 8, leaving the new batsman (Brian McKechnie) to score a six to tie the game.

At this point, Greg Chappell intervened, told his brother to deliver the ball along the ground (i.e. underarm) and he then informed the umpire to let the batsman know of the change of bowling style. Despite the protestations of wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, the ball was delivered and the batsman simply put his bat in front of the ball to stop. He then hurled his bat away. A large crowd of 50,000 – mostly Australian – loudly booed the Australian team from the field. The New Zealand Prime Minister Rob Muldoon said it was "the most disgusting incident I can recall in the history of cricket", the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said it was "contrary to the traditions of the game", and the Chappells' decision was universally condemned. [48] Both brothers have expressed regret and embarrassment over the incident. [49] [50]

Ganguly spat

Chappell's first overseas tour as the coach of the Indian team was to Zimbabwe in September 2005. Sourav Ganguly, the Indian captain, scored a century in the first Test match and later alleged that the coach Chappell had asked him to step down as captain on the eve of the game. This was widely covered by the Indian media. Ganguly was later dropped from the Indian cricket team by the selectors on the grounds of poor form, but many in the media suggested his omission was influenced by the previous row with Chappell. [51]

Book on Rahul Dravid

In his new book, Chappell gave rise to fresh controversy by claiming that Rahul Dravid as a captain didn't receive the kind of support he gave to other captains and his success was not enjoyed by some of his teammates. [52]



Australian selector 1984–88

Shortly after Chappell retired from cricket he was appointed selector for the Australian team and also became a member of the Australian Cricket Board. This was a time of rebuilding for the national side, with many players lost through retirement and the South African rebel tours. He resigned from both positions in mid-1988, before the Australian team revived but by which time many key players in that revival had been selected, including David Boon, Geoff Marsh, Merv Hughes and Steve Waugh.

Among the decisions made by the panel when Chappell was a selector included encouraging Kim Hughes to resign, not selecting Hughes on the 1985 Ashes, trying Wayne Phillips, Greg Dyer and Tim Zoehrer as wicketkeepers, and fast-tracking Craig McDermott and Ian Healy to the national side. [53]

Australian selector 2010–11

Chappell was made a selector of the Australian national side on 29 October 2010, replacing Merv Hughes. The "Argus Review" led to Chappell, along with selector Andrew Hilditch and coach Tim Nielsen, being sacked in August 2011. [54] It emerged at the time that Chappell was banned from the Australian dressing room at the request of the players. [55]


South Australian coach

From the late 1990s Chappell coached South Australia for five seasons during which time the team failed to win a single trophy. [56]

Pakistan consultant

In 2004, he fulfilled a consultancy role for Pakistan's National Cricket Academy [57]

Indian coach

In May 2005, he was appointed coach of the Indian national cricket team for a two-year term until the World Cup 2007. He earned about US$175,000 as salary from the BCCI every year. [58]

This role was the subject of much negative public and media commentary, [59] particularly involving his working relationship with former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, [60] [61] for his tinkering with the batting lineup and his coaching methods. Several senior Indian players whom Chappell coached have come out to criticize his methods, including Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan [62] His comments also did not go down well with the Indian public. Ultimately, his coaching and methods came into question as India crashed out of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the first round, the first time since the 1992 Cricket World Cup. Chappell resigned after reports that none of the senior players, including Tendulkar, were happy with him and his coaching methods. His rift with India's captain Sourav Ganguly and poor performances of the team at the 2007 World Cup made Chappell a dark figure in the history of Indian Cricket. [63] [64]

Despite the popular perception that Chappell's tenure as coach was an unsuccessful one, he had a hand in laying the foundations of the team that went on to win the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 and 2011 Cricket World Cup. He handed debuts to Sreesanth, Munaf Patel and Suresh Raina, who were all part of India's squad in the successful 2011 World Cup campaign. R. P. Singh, who was India's top wicket taker with 12 scalps in their successful campaign for the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, [65] and Robin Uthappa, another member of the winning squad, were also handed their debuts by Chappell. Sreesanth and Munaf were also part of the Indian squad for the 2007 World T20. [66]


Chappell has served as an academy coach for the Rajasthan Royals, and was hired as the All Stars Coach for the 2008 Twenty20 match against Australia. [67] He also serves as the executive coach for a series of Cricket Summer Camps in the United States as part of Chappell Way. [68]


Chappell has worked as a cricket commentator for both Channel 9 and ABC radio.

Personal life

During the early part of his career, since being a cricketer was not yet a full-time profession, Chappell worked in a variety of jobs, including at a life assurance firm, an oil company, and as a promotions officer with Coca-Cola bottlers in Adelaide. [69] He married Judith Elizabeth Donaldson, a schoolteacher from Bexley in New South Wales, in 1971. [70] The couple had three children: older son Stephen was born in 1975, Belinda was born in 1977 just before Chappell's departure for the 1977 Ashes tour, [71] and younger son Jonathan was born in 1980. From an early age, Jonathan chose to pursue baseball, which his father and uncle had also played during their childhood, [72] and played Minor League Baseball from 2004 to 2005. [73]

Chappell was a vegan. [74] [75]

Awards and recognition

Chappell was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 New Year Honours. [76] He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Australia Day Honours for "distinguished service to cricket as a leading player, captain, coach and administrator at the elite level, and to a range of charitable foundations". [77]

Chappell was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1986. [78]

In 2002, he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

See also


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  11. McGregor (1985), p 36.
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  13. McGregor (1985), pp 66–7.
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  22. 1 2 Gideon Haigh,The Cricket War, Text Publishing 1993. ISBN   1-86372-027-8. p 42.
  23. Harte (1993), p 580-1.
  24. McGregor (1985), p 144-5.
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  28. McGregor (1985), p 149.
  29. McGregor (1985), p 150.
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  38. See Haigh (1993). The appendix section has a comprehensive statistical section for the WSC matches
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Preceded by Highest Australian runscorer in Test cricket
Succeeded by
Preceded by Highest Australian runscorer in ODI cricket
Succeeded by
Preceded by Indian cricket team coach
Succeeded by