1981 Every February
Thirty years on New Zealand batsman Brian McKechnie remembers the infamous underarm bowl delivered by Australian Trevor Chappell at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It’s an image permanently ingrained in the minds of almost every Australian cricket fan who watched at the time — McKechnie tapping the ball down the pitch and throwing away his bat in disgust. He’d just faced the most controversial cricket delivery of the time and lost New Zealand the third one day international of the 1981 series against Australia. McKechnie explains: “There was some aggro in the dressing room. By the time I got there there’d been a few cups and things smashed against the wall. But before we even left the ground we were laughing about it and joking about going to Sydney and bowling 5 overs of underarm.” And even though the team thought the issue would be ‘dead and buried in a couple of days’, McKechnie knows better now. He expects a phone call from the media on the first day of February every year.