Greg Chappell is easily among the greatest players to ever don cricket whites, both at home and abroad. At the time of his retirement in 1984, he held the world record for the most catches in test cricket and the most runs in a single match as well.
Despite a long and illustrious career in test cricket and a successful stint playing as a part of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket competition, Chappell has not experienced the same financial stability in retirement as other famous cricketers that have followed after him.
At the age of 75, Chappell still rents along with his wife Judy and his recent health issues have prevented him from attending speaking events and doing consultancy work for the game.
“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. 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.”
The former test cricket captain has reluctantly agreed to have a GoFundMe page set up in his name. A benefit lunch, organised by his close friends Canberra businessman Peter Maloney and former Essendon president David Evans, was also held for him at the MCG last Monday.
The lunch was hosted by former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and attended by several cricket greats, including his brothers Ian and Trevor. Unlike his contemporaries, such as the late Rod Marsh, Chappell declined to have a fundraising testimonial for himself when he retired in 1984.
He has had multiple business ventures along with coaching and commentary positions since, but he has suffered from several setbacks in recent years that have reduced his means. Chappell’s friends have said that he is doing it tougher than someone as generous as he should be.
“Greg is a very proud man. He’s doing it tougher than what he says,” Maloney said.
The 75-year-old runs the Chappell Foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for youth homelessness. But the foundation ensures that it distributes all of its funds 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 explained.
“They distribute it annually so at the end of each year they don’t leave any money and they’re starting afresh.
“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.”