Sydney: Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell has denied that he was recently involved in a “physical confrontation” with Englishman Sir Ian Botham.
Chappell’s reaction follows reports that he and Botham had renewed a 30-year-old grudge, when they had to be separated after having a dispute in the car park outside the Adelaide Oval after the fourth day’s play of the second Ashes Test.
However, denying the incident, Chappell said that it was a “well versed fairytale written by a guy at the London Daily Mail”.
“He regularly writes them for a living in his muck-raking column. What actually happened was a verbal exchange between Botham and myself. There was no physical confrontation,” Chappell wrote in an article for the Herald Sun.
“If blame for the incident is being apportioned, it’s about 50-50,” he added.
According to the Daily News, Chappell and Botham’s Sky and Channel 9 colleagues had intervened after Chappell muttered a provocative comment as the pair walked past each other.
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,” he added.
The two have not spoken to each other since 1980 despite crossing paths at many cricket grounds around the world.