When world cricket’s finest captains are discussed, Ian Chappell’s name is invariably among the front-runners.
The South Australian-born right hand-batsman captained Australia in 30 Tests between 1971 and 1975 and while he was in charge Australia didn’t lose a series.
Ian is a member of a mighty Australian sporting family.
His grandfather Victor Richardson, a superb all-round sportsman, played cricket for Australia between 1924 and 1936, including the infamous Bodyline series in Australia in 1932-33. He finished his career on a triumphant note, captaining Australia to a 4-0 series victory against South Africa.
Brother Greg succeeded Ian Chappell as Australian captain in 1975. His other brother Trevor also pulled on the baggy green cap of his country.
Ian Chappell made his Test debut against Pakistan in Melbourne in 1964 and played his final Test against England on the same ground 16 years later. He scored 5,345 runs at 42.42 in his 75 Test appearances, including 14 centuries, with a highest score of 196 against Pakistan in Adelaide in 1972. In Tests, his leg spinners returned him 20 wickets and his safe slips hands 105 catches.
At Wellington in 1974, Ian and Greg Chappell became the first brothers to score a century in each innings of a Test match. Ian scored 145 and 121 and younger brother Greg’s 247 not out was followed by 133 – in all a total of 646 runs.
In the 262 first-class matches he played for South Australia, Ian Chappell scored 19,680 runs, including 59 centuries, at 48.35, took 176 wickets and held 312 catches.
With his playing days behind him, the 1976 Wisden Cricketer of the Year focused on a new career - as a cricket commentator with the Nine Network and several overseas broadcasters and as a cricket writer. He has excelled at both.