Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell has lifted the lid on controversial sacking of former Australian captain Bill Lawry who dismissed from his role and dropped from the team in 1970.
Members of the Australian cricket board were unhappy about the slow and stubbord batting style of Lawry and wanted to replace him with a more flaboyant cricketer.
Chappell who was Lawry’s vice-captain during Australia’s tour of India in 1969 had warned Lawry of the board’s intention to sack him for even the slightest of failing.
Lawry didn’t pay heed to Chappell when he wrote a letter to the board complaining about the facilities at the accomodation for the team in India.
“As far as I am concerned, putting in that letter was the end of Lawry as captain,” Chappell told Channel Nine.
“Then it was just a matter of them getting rid of him.”
A year later the board made their move, saying the letter was effectively an “insurrection”, sacking Lawry as captain and dropping him from the team in the middle of the 1970-71 Ashes.
The board didn’t even bother to inform Lawry about the decision and he came to know about it through radio.
“You don’t get told, you hear about it on the radio or the paper,” Lawry told Channel Nine.
“In those days, you were never advised if you were in the side or out of the side,” he added.
Chappell feels the manner of his removal was disgraceful.
“It’s a terrible thing, it’s a disgraceful thing to do,” he said.
“The service that Bill had given Australia, he deserved to hear it from one of the selectors.
“The chairman of selectors should have told him face to face, in my opinion,” he added.
Sir Don Bradman was the chief selector at the time and reportedly didn’t want to remove Lawry as captain but he was outvoted, commentator Jim Maxwell tweeted.
Chappell revealed he was shocked at the time after learning about the decision.
“It’s unbelievable. I feel sorry for Bill ... he’s been a good captain,” he said.
“The b******* will never get me like that,” he said at the time.