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14 Exciting Secrets About Ian Botham

1. Sir Ian Terence Botham, OBE is a former England Test cricketer and Test team captain, and current cricket commentator.

2. He was a genuine all-rounder with 14 centuries and 383 wickets in Test cricket, also grabbing 120 catches while fielding predominantly in the slips and remains well known by his nickname “Beefy”. While at times a controversial player both on and off the field, Botham also held a number of Test cricket records, and until 17 April 2015 held the record for the highest number of wickets taken by an England bowler, when surpassed by James Anderson.

3. Just like fellow cricketers Denis Compton, Chris Balderstone and Arnold Sidebottom, Botham was also a talented footballer, and made 11 appearances in the Football League.

4. Botham was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2007 New Years Honours List and on 8 August 2009, was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

5. Botham was born in Heswall on the Wirral, to Herbert Leslie Botham . Both his parents played cricket.

6. He went to Milford Junior School in Yeovil, Somerset, where his “love affair” with sport began, and played for Somerset Under-15s. From an early age he was always single-minded.

7. When informed that Botham wanted to be a sportsman, the Careers Mistress at his school said to him, “Fine, everyone wants to play sport, but what are you really going to do?”.

8. In his non-first-class appearances for Somerset, his bowling figures did not stand out, but there were some sizeable scores, including 91 for the Under-25s v Glamorgan Under-25s, 82 and 42 v Cornwall, 51 v Gloucester Under-25s, 50 v Glamorgan 2nd XI and in his last game 100 against Glamorgan 2nd XI.

9. In first-class cricket, he scored 19,399 runs at 33.97, took 1,172 wickets at 27.22 and held 354 catches.

10. In that year, when playing against Hampshire and facing the West Indian fast bowler Andy Roberts, a bouncer hit him straight in the mouth.

11. He spat out teeth and simply carried on batting. In 1986 he resigned from Somerset, in protest against the sacking of his friends Sir Viv Richards and Joel Garner, and joined Worcestershire, playing for that county between 1987 and 1991.

12. Only months before announcing his presence on the international scene, Botham played Grade cricket for the University of Melbourne Cricket Club during the 1976/77 Australian Domestic Season.

13. Botham played 4 matches, the first of which was against Northcote in a one-day game on 8 January 1977.

14. The opposition wicket-keeper Richie Robinson would be an opponent in the Test arena only months later.

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