Greg Chappell captained Australia for two periods, 1975-1977 and then again from 1979 until his retirement in 1984. He was the leading batsman of his time, playing in 87 Test matches and recording a batting average of 53.86, recording 24 centuries. In the limited overs game he played 74 times, recording three centuries and an average of 40.18. His top score in Tests was an enormous 247 not out.
He was also an accomplished medium pace bowler, taking 47 Test wickets at an average of 40.70. In the 50-over game he took 72 wickets at an average of 29.12, twice taking five wickets in an innings. One of these left him with match figures of 5 for 15.
- Leading Australian batsman of his time
- Broke the record for catches in the field
- Australian captain for two periods
- Writer on health and fitness in middle age
Greg was known for athleticism in the field, taking the record for the most catches at Test match level, a record he retained until he retired. He has since been a selector, Indian national coach and team selector.
Veganism and survival of middle age
He is also known for his books on health: “Health and Fitness: A Repair Manual for Men” sold in large numbers and was influential across Australia. Although Greg is clear about cutting out all animal products, he does not use the word “vegan”.
“I made a conscious decision to try and reach as many people as possible with the books. Bearing in mind that it took me 20 odd years to come to a pure vegetarian diet I felt it would be too confronting for most people, men in particular, to be hit with such a large life-style change. I believe the popularity of the books has vindicated that decision. I have become more conscious of the ethical issues the longer I have been a pure vegetarian.
“It is impossible to ignore the ethical and environmental aspects of our meat-eating culture. There is no one animal I feel for over any other, for all intensively-farmed animals suffer a reduction in the quality of life. From my own point of view I would like to see farming returned to free-range farming at least.”
“I think the turning point for me was an article that I wrote from the information that he’d given me on some research done at UCLA in California on their track and field athletes, about dairy products, and their fitness and general health on and off dairy products. And the upshot of the article was that these athletes perform better, they recovered better, they trained better, and they were 100% aerobically more fit off dairy products than on dairy products, and I thought ‘Well, for half the training I can be as fit as I am now.’ “