Despite it being 42 years since he played the last of his 75 Tests (February 1980), the eldest of the three Chappell brothers, known to be an intellectual of the game, did not lose his sharpness in reading the game. Along with the likes of Tony Greig, Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry, Chappell was one of the most distinctive voices on Channel Nine and highly regarded as one of the best in the cricket commentary business.
Greg Chappell, Ian’s brother, said Ian was not only entertaining with his commentary but also superlatively informative and brought the same elements of attraction and aggression that he showed on the field as a player and captain, to the commentary box.
File Pic: Ian Chappell (L) and Jim Maxwell commentate during a Test match. (Getty Images)
“Ian was the best captain I played under or saw. A highly perceptive man, who not only played cricket attractively and aggressively, to win, but managed to imbue that attitude in his teammates, who, to this day, are loyal and extremely fond of him,” Greg, a former Australia captain himself and India coach, who has founded The Chappell Foundation along with Sydney-based NRI businessman Darshak Mehta, told TOI on Saturday.
Ian and Trevor, Greg’s older and younger brothers, support the foundation activities whole-heartedly and participate in its fund-raisers. The foundation has so far raised over A$ 4 million to tackle youth homelessness in Australia.
Greg Chappell (Getty Images)
“He (Ian) brought that same perception to the broadcasting and the media box, where his reading and the summation of match situations and appraisal of players was always insightful. Combined with a phenomenal memory, Ian was always entertaining in readily recalling past episodes, scores and statistics and pointing out their relevance. He will be sorely missed…Truly, it’s the end of an era,” Greg Chappell further told TOI.