Benaud on the under arm delivery

Stuff reminds us:

It was the day stood up for principle over patriotism.

As evening descended on the Melbourne Ground on February 1, 1981, Australasia was gripped by furious debate after an incident many were already describing as having changed forever. 

With just one ball left to play, and New Zealand needing a six to tie the one-day international match, captain Greg Chappell ordered his brother, Trevor, to bowl the final delivery underarm.

In his post-match wrap up for Channel Nine, Benaud defiantly stared down the barrel of the camera and excoriated the Australian team, calling it “one of the worst things I have ever seen done on a cricket field”.

“Let me just tell you what I think about it. I think it was a disgraceful performance from a captain that got his sums wrong today, and I think it should never be permitted to happen again.”

Pre-empting the excuses that would inevitably follow, Benaud continued: 

“We keep reading and hearing that the players are under a lot of pressure, and that they’re tired and jaded and perhaps their judgment and their skill is blunted. Perhaps they might advance that as an excuse for what happened out there today.

“Not with me they don’t,” he summed-up brusquely.

A great man, who never would have done what Chappell did.

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