Bradman cause for Australian rebellion: Ian Chappell
Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2002, 21:09 [IST]
High-riding Australians aim for historic clean sweep
Sydney: Donald Bradman's unwillingness to pay players better and improve conditions was a major factor behind the World Series Cricket rebellion in the 1970s, according to former Australian captain Ian Chappell. Chappell said the late Bradman's tightness with the Australian Cricket Board's money led as much as anything else to starting the breakaway series. "Bradman to me has as much to do with the starting of World Series Cricket as anybody because I got the feeling Bradman treated the Board money as though it was almost his own money," says Chappell on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's "Cricket in the 70s, The Chappell Era" television documentary shown on Wednesday. Even though Bradman, considered the greatest batsman of all-time, was no longer chairman of the ACB, Chappell said he dominated two Board meetings Chappell attended to lobby for better conditions for cricketers. At the time the ACB had gate receipts of up to $ 250,000 per Test while players received only A$ 200 ($112) each. Chappell revealed in the programme he was approached three times during his Australian leadership from 1972 to 1975 to play privately funded exhibition matches outside the normal international program. Chappell was coaxed out of retirement to lead Kerry Packer's breakaway cricket series from 1977 to 1979 as the media mogul sought to gain exclusive international coverage for his 'Nine Network', signing 55 players from all Test nations.