Teammates rally around Aussie cricket great Greg Chappell in surprising struggle

Teammates rally around Aussie cricket great Greg Chappell in surprising struggle

The Australian cricket community is rallying around Greg Chappell to help the cricket legend’s financial struggles.

News Corp reports Chappell reluctantly agreed to a GoFundMe page being set up for him, along with a testimonial lunch held at the MCG last week — hosted by Eddie McGuire and attended by cricket greats including brothers Ian and Trevor.

Chappell is considered one of Australia’s greatest ever batsmen — scoring 24 centuries across 87 Test matches during the 1970s and 80s.

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Along with fast bowler Dennis Lillee and wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, Chappell was part of an iconic trio that defected to Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in the late 1970s.

But unlike Lillee and Marsh, Chappell didn’t receive a fundraising testimonial at the end of his career to help set him up after retiring from cricket.

Chappell, who rents in Adelaide, said he is doing fine but is certainly not living a life of luxury as a result of his cricketing career.

“I’m not on the bones of my a**e,” Chappell told News Corp.

“I certainly don’t want it to sound like we’re in desperate straits, because we’re not – but we’re not living in luxury either.

Australian cricket legend Greg Chappell is doing it tough. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I think most people assume that because we played cricket that we are all living in the lap of luxury. While I’m certainly not crying poor, we’re not reaping in the benefits that today’s players are.”

But Chappell’s friends say he is doing it tougher than an Australian sporting legend ever should.

“Greg is a very proud man. He’s doing it tougher than what he says,” Chappell’s friend Peter Maloney said.

The 75-year-old also runs the Chappell Foundation, which raises funds for homelessness charities.

But the foundation makes sure every cent is distributed each year and Chappell doesn’t keep any of the money for himself.

“The Chappell Foundation is run by Darshak Mehta and 100 per cent of the money that is raised gets distributed,” Maloney said.

“They distribute it annually so at the end of each year they don’t leave any money and they’re starting afresh.

Chappell’s friends and teammates are rallying around him. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Chappell is one of Australia’s best ever batters. (Pic by unidentified staff photographer)Source: News Corp Australia

“If you put your name to a foundation you’re entitled to take some money out of it. But Greg hasn’t taken a cent out of it, even though he could have.

“I guess that was the irony that he was the face of it and turning up to every function and he’s raising all this money while he didn’t have a hell of a lot himself.

“Put it this way, we will probably end up raising about $250,000 out of it, and it will significantly enhance his last few years.”

Professional cricket has progressed a long way financially since Chappell retired, and he said he is far from the only player of his era to have struggled.

“It is just my friends who realised that we didn’t get a lot and just to make sure that Judy and I were comfortable in our retirement,” Chappell said.

“To be fair, there are others of our era who are in more dire circumstances that could do with the help and I don’t think the game has done enough for players of that era. Particularly in relation to the comparison with today’s era.

Chappell (right) has had a long and distinguished career in Australian cricket. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I believe the players that set the scene for what’s happening today should probably be recognised for the role they played in getting the game to where it is today.”

A doyen of Australian cricket, Chappell has since developed a reputation as one of the sharpest identifiers of talent in the country.

He famously described Cameron Green as the best cricketer he had seen since Ricky Ponting shortly before the West Australian all-rounder was picked to make his Test debut.

Chappell has also been a selector of the national side and a member of the Australian Cricket Board.

The Go Fund Me has raised $72,000 so far. Donate to it here.

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