Cricket world pays tribute to Ian Chappell after sad announcement

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Ian Chappell has announced he will step away from cricket commentary, prompting a wave of tributes from fans. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ian Chappell has announced he will step away from cricket commentary, prompting a wave of tributes from fans. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The cricketing world has saluted Australian sporting icon Ian Chappell, after he announced he was retiring from his career as a commentator.

The 78-year-old great said the retirement earlier this year of Ray Warren had spurred his decision, adding that he would wear his reputation as a curmudgeon with pride.

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Chappell turned to commentary following his Test career came to a close, with the former Australian captain joining the likes of Richie Benaud, Bill Lawry and Tony Greig in the box.

The quartet became a staple of cricket coverage in Australia, helping establish the legendary status of Channel 9's Wide World of Sports program.

Well known for his dry wit and an ability to speak his mind bluntly no matter the issue, Chappell remarked that people were free to make their minds up about him on their own - where they landed was of no consequence to him.

Chappell said that criticism was always meant to be in service of the game.

"It's up to other people to decide what they think of me and some will think I've been all right," Chappell told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Some will think I've been a prick. That doesn't bother me one bit."

Tony Greig, Mark Taylor, Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry, pictured here at the SCG in 2011.
Tony Greig, Mark Taylor, Richie Benaud, Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry at the SCG in 2011. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Cricket world pays tribute to Ian Chappell

Chappell said the retirement of Warren earlier this year already had him thinking about his future, however it was a specific comment from the rugby league great that grabbed his attention.

That, combined with the ongoing burden of travelling for a summer of cricket had motivated him into the decision.

"I had a minor stroke a few years back and I got off lucky. But it just makes everything harder," Chappell said.

"And I just thought with all the travel and walking up stairs and things like that, it's all just going to get harder.

"Then I read what Rabbits [recently retired rugby league commentator Ray Warren] said with retirement and it really struck home when I read the bit where he said, 'you're always one sentence closer to making a mistake'."

Fans of Chappell's work behind the microphone congratulated him on his career, with many remarking on the impact he'd had on their own careers.

with AAP

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