Ian Botham, the legend

BBC Sport documentary on Ian Botham, the legendary cricketer, all rounder who played for England between 1977 and 1992. England i guess never had a kind of swashbuckling allrounder before him, and his arrival changed the stakes for England. He took 5 wickets in his first test match against Australia and was made captain soon after, but a bad patch leading into the 1981 series saw him lose the captaincy after two tests of that series.

In 1980 he came down to Bombay to play one test against India to commemorate the 50 years of Indian cricket and that test match was his own. He took 13 wickets in all and scored 114 runs in one innings that he played in that match. But by 1981 he had lost his form completely. The 3rd test at Headingley was famous for Botham’s century and Bob Willis scintillating bowling in the 4th innings to turn the match around completely for England. I remember listening to this match on the BBC World test commentary with the likes of John Arlott, Christopher Martin Jenkins, Henry Blofied among others.

The 4th and 5th match in that series went completely Botham’s way. He dominated the 1981 series in the same way Ben Stokes completely dominated the 2019 Ashes against Australia in England. In between England had Andrew Flintoff who started off flamboyantly like Botham but somewhere down the line, injuries put paid to his efforts.

Ian Botham was truly a great allrounder on the same likes of Kapil Dev, Imran Khan & Richard Hadlee, all of whom played around the same time. Ian Botham later became a commentator, but he used to just mumble into the mic, so we did’nt know what he was talking about, but that’s what he is – original. Nice documentary to watch for those who like cricket. It is available on youtube at this link


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