What he said:
“The players need to be careful where tit-for-tat pitch preparation might lead.'”
Ian Chappell is not keen on cricketers’ insistence on having wickets that suit them in home series. The former Australian skipper was responding to Shane Watson’s desire for bouncy pitches in the upcoming series against India.
“We are hopeful that the groundsmen are going to make the grounds very conducive to what we do, because in India they certainly make sure the conditions are favourable to them.”
Chappell, writing in his column, commented:
“I was reminded of two things when I read that quote. The first was a story told by Tony Greig about playing first-class cricket in South Africa.
It was at a time when umpires were appointed by the local association and the standard had dipped alarmingly. Greig described how the Western Province players would tell their local umpires to ‘send off’ the Transvaal batsmen because that was the treatment they received when playing in Johannesburg. In the end the situation became so dire the players declared a moratorium and agreed to ‘walk’ when they knew they were out.
That situation didn’t last long and soon chaos reigned.
The other was a comment concerning players who decide an umpire is either weak or incompetent and the team agrees to ‘appeal for everything’. Those teams are often the first to complain when the umpiring in a match is below standard. Hence the often-heard and eminently true comment: ‘Beware you don’t get the umpiring you deserve.’
The same could apply to pitches if players are going to start demanding retribution from the home curators.”
“I’d go one step further and say that as captain, if I’d asked any Australian curator for a certain type of pitch, the answer would have been: ‘Get stuffed. I’ll prepare the pitch, you play on it.'”
What he really meant:
“Tit-for-tat reactions will create a dysfunctional relationship and ruin the ethos of the sport. It also breeds one-dimensional cricketers who cannot adapt to different situations and conditions. It’s not going to produce great cricketers, but home-grown bully boys.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“How about a tit for two tats instead? Also, you ought to keep in mind that if Team India fold in three days or less, Cricket Australia will lose out on all that gate money and television revenue.”