Fresh perspectives on the Botham and Chappell confrontation

 It appears that the alleged physical confrontation between Ian chappell and Ian Botham in the Adelaide Oval car park was not physsical but ‘just’ verbal. This correction is called for , according to Ian Chappell in the Sunday Mail, 12 December 2010. His  “Memo,’ however, confirms how deep the rift is between the two. Further, reading betwen the lines one can surmise that Chappell shot a caustic remark at Botham who retaliated in four-letter kind. But what is most significant is the fact that a newspaper in England expanded on the character of the confrontation — in short embellished the tale and thus fabricated some details. It reveals to us how readers  immoral and slanted some media reports can be as journalsits pursue the mighty dollar through scoops. Michael Roberts.

The Truth about beefy and me

Ian Chappell, in the Sunday Mail

Ian Botham and fairy tales are synonymous, like Hans Christian Andersen and children’s books. If he is not telling them, someone else is writing them about him. The most recent one about our altercation in the channel 9 compound at Adelaide oval was written by a guy in London’s Daily Mail who is well-versed in fairy tales. He regularly writes them for a living in his muck-raking column.

    What actually happened was a verbal exchange between Ian botham and me. If blame for the incident si being apportioned its about fifty:fifty. Our verbal altercations over the years have generally taken the same route–I either make a reference to his long-distance relationship with the truth or an uncomplimentary remark about his intelligence. His response only varies, depending on his mood, to the preface he uses to the four letter word women hate.

    Having seen the way it has been blown up out of all proportion this time, I’m hoping it does not happen again. The only way to put an end to the ongoing fairy tales is if we have absolutely no contact, which will suit me perfectly.

The two Ians, Botham and Chappell, scuffle at Adelaide Oval carpark

Charles Sale, courtesy of Daily Mail

Legendary cricket enemies Sir Ian Botham and Ian Chappell had to be pulled apart after a furious bust-up in the car park after the end of play on the fourth day in the Adelaide Test. The England and Australia icons have a feud going back more than 30 years and squared up before their Sky and Channel 9 colleagues intervened. Botham, who hasn’t spoken to former Australia captain Chappell since 1980 despite them working in close proximity in cricket ground television booths around the globe, was waiting for his Sky transport to collect him outside the Adelaide Oval.

 Pic courtesy of Adelaide Now

Chappell muttered something highly provocative as he went past. A surprised Botham turned around to retort: ‘What did you say?’ And after Chappell made another incendiary remark, both of them dropped their bags and were at each others’ throats before being quickly separated. 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.”

 Pic courtesy of

The pair have a deep mutual resentment going back to 1977. It started during the Centenary Test at Melbourne in March of that year when an uncapped 21-year-old Botham, playing club cricket in Australia, ended up in the same bar as Chappell next to the Hilton Hotel.

 The fiercely patriotic Botham objected to the Pommie-bashing comments of passionate republican Chappell, who had recently retired. According to Botham’s version of events, he landed a punch on Chappell which sent him sprawling off his bar stool into a group of Aussie Rules footballers, scattering their drinks. Chappell was then chased out of the bar by Botham, who hurdled a car bonnet to get at him.

The Australian’s alternative rendition is that Botham had goaded 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.
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