Thursday, February 24, 2011

Portraits: Sir Ian Botham

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I vaguely remember being aware of Ian Botham as a 8 year old, as I was following India's unlikely chase of 439 at the Oval in 1979.

A few years later, in a Test Match in Bombay, that I was very much aware of, Ian Botham scored a century and took 13 wickets. I haven't checked but its unlikely that such a feat has ever been surpassed.

The match however was discussed for completely different reasons in India. With India well ahead in the Test match, Gundappa Vishwanath, played umpire, overruled Hanumant Rao and recalled wicket-keeper Taylor, who was ruled out by the umpire. From that point on, Ian Botham won the game for England; on his own.

A few more years later I read, re-read and tried to recreate in my mind, a set of cricket matches I had never seen or followed, when they took place. The book, which I still have was "Botham Rekindles the Ashes: [Daily Telegraph] Story of the '81 Test Series"

No one person has influenced a Test Series the way Ian Botham did this one.


Govind Raj said...

Botham was the atypical British Cricketer of his times. Aussies have for most of the times held sway over Ashes.

Poms traditionally wet their pants at the mention of Ashes and perhaps that is why Ashes is Sacrosanct for them. But Ian Terence Botham reserved his best for the Aussies !

I too was under 10 during Botham's prime. But the way he influenced the outcome of the 1992 WC match against India was a stuff of legend. He dismissed both Sachin and Kambli in that match and even opened the batting for England during the WC.

Golandaaz said...

I remember that game all to well. Sachin was poised to take the game away from England and Botham swung one away and Sachin edged it

The 10-Dulkar sign in the crowd stopped @ 36-Dulkar

Ganesh said...

I saw that '92 WC highlights today.:D