Abuse displays a weakness of character: Greg Chappell pens open letter to Tim Paine

Greg Chappell (left) and Tim Paine.
Greg Chappell (left) and Tim Paine.

Australian cricket legend Greg Chappell has penned an open letter to Tim Paine after the skipper came in for criticism during the Sydney Test. The former Aussie captain urged Paine to set better examples as a leader and stay clear of abusing.

Tim Paine was heavily criticised for his altercation with Ravichandran Ashwin on fifth day of the third Test. The wicket-keeper-batsman later publicly apologized for his behaviour.

On the matter, Greg Chappell wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald:

“Abuse is not acceptable in any workplace and talk, in my opinion, is cheap. It does not show one’s strength. Rather, it displays a weakness of character. I urge you to impress on the team to let the bat and ball do the talking and set better examples to millions of impressionable little boys and girls, lest they start imitating the worst instincts and actions of their sporting heroes. This will be the greatest legacy that you can leave."

Chappell further added:

“You have led Australia with flair, courage and humour and have contributed immensely in rebuilding the image of Australian cricket following the events in Cape Town, three years ago. I urge you to keep leading in the way that you have been, since taking over the captaincy. I would hate one bad day to undo all of the good work that you and your team have done."

Tim Paine was also fined 15% of his match fee for showing dissent at an umpire's decision in the Sydney Test.

Greg Chappell mentions the scars of the ‘underarm’ incident to Tim Paine

Greg Chappell
Greg Chappell

February 1, 2021, will mark 40 years of the ‘underarm’ incident at the MCG. The incident tarnished Greg Chappell and Australia’s image.

In what was the third of the best-of-five finals, New Zealand needed six runs off the final ball to tie the ODI. To ensure that didn’t happen, Greg Chappell instructed his younger brother Trevor to bowl an underarm delivery along the ground.

In the letter to Tim Paine, Chappell wrote about the incident and the aftermath.

“The fact that people still have strong feelings about my action, 40 years later, should be a lesson to us all. What I failed to do on that day was to maintain my equilibrium and equanimity in the face of changing and challenging circumstances. Had I been able to take a step back from the issues swirling around me at the time, I might have made a different decision," Greg Chappell added.

Chappell further wrote:

“What I didn’t appreciate then, was that my decision set off a chain reaction that still pokes it’s head to this day. It affected my brother, my teammates, opponents in that match, the rest of my family, the game and possibly the standing of our country in the eyes of the rest of the cricketing world."

Greg Chappell also mentioned to Tim Paine how his actions made him realise that the Australian sporting community demands high standards from its athletes, especially the captains.

The incident even soured the diplomatic relations between the nations, with the New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers lashing out at Greg Chappell for the act.

Tim Paine, who led Australia through one of its most difficult times, has been under fire for his captaincy. Many reckon it may be his final match as the Australian captain if he fails to win the Brisbane Test.

Coming in at No.7, Tim Paine struck an important fifty against the injury-marred Indian bowling attack.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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