The longest spat

I keep meaning to praise Ian Botham and Ian Chappell’s continued spat which reared its cheerful head the other day. Botham attacked Chappell in his book; Chappell heard about it and responded to a local radio station. And loop. I’m going to steal the quotes from Rob Steen’s blog as I’m too lazy to find them elsewhere (thanks Rob):

The way Mallett tells it, when the two Ians, by now fellow commentators, were interviewed on Channel 9 in Australia a decade or two later, “the bad blood between them was obvious”. Recalled Chappell: “At the end of it, I’ll never forget, Ray [Martin] said to Botham, ‘Oh well, you’ll still have a drink at the end of a day’s play.’

“And Botham said, ‘Yeah, that’s cricket, mate. You sit down and have a beer, or wine.’

“Ray turned to me and said, ‘You’ll be having a drink with him after the commentary is over?’

“I said, ‘No, Ray. I can find plenty of decent people to have a drink with. I won’t be drinking with him.”

Storm in a dusty old teacup? Much ado about nowt? Sure, it’s a pity two such admirable cricketers continue to lower themselves by perpetuating something that should have been forgiven and forgotten long ago. On the other hand, this is a grave time in our planet’s history. An age where, courtesy of the expansion of the media, the ability of gossip to spread at the speed of light and the evolution of litigation, the number of durable and entertaining feuds feels perilously close to an all-time low. (Oh my Oasis and my Blur of not all that long ago.) The giggles, therefore, are not unwelcome.

Quite so, and long may they feud.

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