Ian Botham and Ian Chappell in car park dust-up after Adelaide Test
LEGENDARY cricket enemies Sir Ian Botham and Ian Chappell had to be pulled apart after a furious dust-up in a car park after the fourth day of 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, the Daily Mail reported.
Chappell muttered something highly provocative as he went past.
A surprised Botham turned around to retort: 'What did you say?'
When Chappell made another incendiary remark, both of them dropped their bags and were at each others' throats before being quickly separated.
Channel 9 News reported tonight that Botham is disputing some elements of the Daily Mail report.
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.'
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 version 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.