Former Australian captain and respected commentator Ian Chappell on Thursday revealed he is battling skin cancer but the 75-year-old expects to be fit enough to commentate when the Ashes comes calling next month.
Chappell, who played 75 Tests for Australia between 1964 and 1980, has completed five weeks of intense radiation therapy after he had skin cancers removed from his shoulder, neck and underarm.
“When you hit 70 you feel (vulnerable) anyhow, but I guess I’ve got so used to bloody skin cancers over the years, and the fact that none of them have been melanomas, probably provides a bit of comfort. It may be naivety on my part,” Chappell told The Daily Telegraph.
At this stage, the pathology report has come all clear and he is ready to commentate in the Ashes beginning with the first Test at Birmingham on August 1.
Not many knew about his illness initially but he told his friends and family after being confident about his treatment.
“I didn’t tell too many people early on. Mainly because I just wasn’t sure what the radiotherapy would involve and how weary I’d be. But as it turned out, it wasn’t so bad. A bit of tiredness at night and a bit of skin irritation, but other than that I’m feeling pretty good,” Chappell revealed.
“I told family and gradually a couple of my teammates and I’ve been getting calls from them pretty regularly which is nice. With the Ashes coming up now, I’ll speak to Nine (Broadcaster) and just say, ‘look, I’m ready to go if you need me’.”