Greg Chappell reminisces about 'days of war' in Packer-era cricket

Last Updated: Sat, Aug 18, 2012 07:20 hrs

Legendary Australia captain Greg Chappell has recalled the days of war in the cricketing world during the birth of limited-over matches after viewing Channel Nine's new drama Howzat! Kerry Packer's War.

As the reigning captain of the Oz team, Chappell was also a key target of World Series Cricket, the rival competition plotted by media mogul Kerry Packer in revenge for being denied exclusive television rights to the game.

"It shows the tension that was around between players and administrators. It shows the arrival of Kerry Packer and then the confrontation between Packer and the players on one hand with the tradition on the other hand - the MCC [Marylebone Cricket Club] and all the country bodies resisted very strongly," The Herald Sun quoted Chappell, as saying after watching the show.

'"The point is certainly brought across that there was this tension and Kerry came in the middle of it and that seemed to inflame a lot of the particularly English media and the English administrators. They certainly weren't going to step aside for an interloper from the antipodes to come and tell them what should be happening with their game," he said.

"There is a reasonable reflection in the program of the attitude of the administrators at the time, that they really weren't interested in talking to the players about anything. They certainly didn't seem to be interested in making money because the offer Kerry made to them for the exclusive rights was significantly greater than the ABC was paying them," he added.

Chappell further said about the show: "The two areas I would have loved to have seen highlighted a little bit more was the humour and the larrikinism of the group. It would have been good to see more of Dennis Lillee's competitiveness, Thommo [Jeff Thomson] and his humour, that sort of stuff. But it's hard to condense two years of activities into three and a bit hours of television," he said. (ANI)

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