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When Ian Chappell threw a ‘pissed’ bat-maker out of the dressing room

Ian Chappell
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ian Chappell, the former Australia captain, has recalled the time he had to throw out a drunk representative of a bat-making company from the team dressing, after he broke a glass in the shower.

Chappell was speaking to former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson in the Lessons Learnt with the Greats podcast, when he looked back at a very different time in cricket, in the early 1970s, when media and others surrounding the game were allowed in the dressing room.

Chappell, 76, said that went largely fine, but there was the odd occasion when it didn’t. “I had one idiot, who was a representative of a bat-maker. He came in and he was pissed,” Chappell said. “He came into the dressing room in 1974/75, and because he was pissed and running around, he dropped a glass in the shower, a clear glass in the shower.

“I said, ‘Mate, we’re playing in a Test series against England, and you’re dropping a bloody glass in the shower, somebody can go in there, cut their foot, and they’re out of the series.’ I said, ‘You can piss off out of the dressing room, and you’re not allowed back’.

“And he came to me a couple of times, and pleaded, ‘Ah mate, it’s my business’. I said, ‘It’s also your business to have a bit of common sense. While I’m captain, you’re not coming back into the dressing room’. I think when Greg [Chappell, his brother] took over, he was allowed back in.”

Chappell suggested that was a one-off, though, and said it was “tribute” to the journalists that all that happened in the dressing room at the time stayed there. “It was definitely different times. For instance, the journalists used to come into the dressing room,” he said. “The only rule was, if you came into the dressing room, you had to bring the beer with you, because we only get a bottle each – you’re not drinking our beer and leaving us short.

“It’s a tribute to the journos that … you know what the talk is like in the dressing room. A lot of things are said in the dressing room that you don’t want to go out into the wide world. I can’t think of one time that happened. It never happened, because that guy would never have been allowed back in the dressing room.”

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