Prime Strengthens Underarm Scheduling

Prime has rescheduled its documentary about the 1981 transTasman underarm bowling incident from February 3 to February 4 and will repeat it 24 hours later.

Underarm: The Ball That Changed Cricket will premiere 7.30 on February 4, pre-empting American Pickers, and play again 8.30 on February 5 instead of 1968: The Year That Changed America.

The latter will shift back an hour to 9.35, pre-empting Mayday.

The episode of SEAL Team that originally was pre-empted for February 3 has been reinstated.

“This is the story of the most infamous ball in trans-Tasman sporting history,” says Prime.

‘The Underarm’ created an international incident, changed the rules of cricket and gave Kiwis the moral high ground over Australia. Now, for the first time on television, the full story of Trevor Chappell’s underarm bowl is told by the players from both teams who were there on the field on February 1, 1981.

But what, on that scorching hot afternoon, possessed Greg Chappell to instruct his brother to roll the ball to Kiwi batsman and All Black Brian McKechnie?

The underarm ball that contines to haunt both Greg and his little brother was a personal protest by the exhausted Australian captain. “I wasn’t fit,” he says. “I mean, I was mentally wrung out, I was physically wrung out, and I was fed up with the whole system … and [the underarm incident] was a cry for help.”

The Eric Young-narrated doco also has interviews with Trevor Chappell, Ian Smith, Martin Snedden and Bruce Edgar.

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