I think you’re wrong there Omni. El Tel was at the helm when the Aussies succumbed to the might of Iran before the 98 World Cup. Personally I think he did it on purpose to spare them the embarrassment of performing in the finals a la Saudi Arabia and China.
Amos, I wasn’t knocking the current side’s lack of ability; i was knocking their lack of personality! All be it lightheartedly!
If you want reminder of when The Ashes was truly great (for the Poms anyway!) have a look at what i just bought off this sports memorabilia auctin site:
Any Yanks here other than myself who haven’t a clue as to what is being discussed in this thread?
Waxing lyrically about Beefy,
Ian Terence Botham
A scriptwriter submitting the life story of Ian Botham to a publisher would have had it thrown back in his face for being unrealistic. How could any single player win Test matches (and indeed an entire Ashes series) virtually on his own; appear on so many newspaper front pages as well as back pages (and not always for the right reasons); and shatter cricketing records seemingly at will.
He was a hero, utterly fearless and he frequently carried the hopes of an entire nation on those broad shoulders.
The windmill twirl of his bat as he strode to the wicket was his signature, one that earned him a taunt from bowler Dick Collinge when Botham appeared in his fourth Test in Christchurch against New Zealand as a brash 22-year-old. “Oh yeah, son, you and whose army?” teased Collinge. He soon had his answer. Botham cracked 103 runs, finished the game with eight wickets and took England to a 174-run victory. The world had been warned.
Botham’s entry into domestic cricket was no less dramatic. Though born in Heswall in Cheshire, his formative years were in Yeovil and it was for Somerset that he played most of his cricket. As a callow 18-year-old playing in the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1974, he encountered Andy Roberts, one of the world’s greatest fast bowlers. Roberts duly felled him with a short one but Botham picked himself up and, literally spitting blood, proceeded to hit an unbeaten 45 to take Somerset to a one-wicket win.
Botham’s Test debut came against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1977 when he took five wickets - dismissed as “flukey” in some quarters. But another five in the next Test at Leeds made people sit up and take notice. His great weapon was his prodigious outswing which had the slips licking their fingers. And, of course, there was also his batting. He was so powerful that mishits would frequently go for four but he had superb technique; he played very straight with many of his runs coming between mid on and mid off, but he was an equally adept cutter and a fearless hooker. And just to cap his abilities, in the slips he would take remarkable catches, getting down very quickly for a big man. He finished his international career with 120 catches, equalling Colin Cowdrey’s record.
At times Botham’s incredible all-round performances seemed commonplace. After that fourth Test against New Zealand, his seventh Test at Lord’s against Pakistan saw him hit a hundred and take eight for 34; at Mumbai in 1980 in the Golden Jubilee Test, he hit 114 and took 13 Indian wickets for 106 - the first time that anybody had scored a century and taken ten wickets in a Test.
There followed a dip in form which coincided with his being appointed captain in 1980. Both Botham and the team struggled and, following a defeat and a draw in the first two home Tests of the Ashes series in 1981, Mike Brearley took over the captaincy. It was a move which created the stuff of legend. In the Third Test at Headingley, with England following on and seemingly in a hopeless position, Botham launched an astonishing counter-attack and hit an unbeaten 149 to set the stage for Bob Willis to bowl out the Australians and give England victory by 18 runs. In the next Test at Edgbaston, Botham was again the hero. With Australia needing 151 for victory, they were apparently easing towards their target at 105 for four until Botham came on to bowl and proceeded to take five wickets for one run in 28 balls. The heart had been ripped out of the Australians. Botham went on to score another majestic century in the next Test at Old Trafford as the visitors lost the series 3-1.
It was Botham’s finest hour in an international career that was to carry on for another 11 years. In that time he reached 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in 21 matches and took his 100 wickets in two years nine days, both feats setting new records. He went on to take 200 wickets and score 2,000 runs in record time, both by age and number of Tests (42), and was the youngest player to take 200 Test wickets. He finished with 383 wickets and 5,200 runs in his 102 Tests. He also hit the fastest Test double century off 220 balls against India at the Oval in 1982.
Botham’s career at Somerset coincided with the county’s most successful era. They also boasted the majestic Viv Richards and the imposing Joel Garner. Between the three of them they took the one-day game in England by the scruff of the neck. Without a major honour before the trio’s arrival, Somerset won the Sunday league and Gillette Cup in 1979, the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1981 and 1982 and the NatWest trophy in 1983. The county also equalled their highest County Championship position of third in 1981. Botham’s most successful season for Somerset with the bat came in 1985 when he amassed 1,530 runs, including a remarkable 80 sixes. He hit 1,000 runs in a season four times and took 100 wickets in 1978. Botham captained Somerset in 1984 and 1985 but the following year there followed an acrimonious split with the county as he quit in sympathy with Richards and Garner who had been sacked.
Botham went on to join Worcestershire where he stayed until 1991. A serious back injury threatened to end his career but he overcame it and returned to Test cricket in 1989. His last club was Durham, the newest county in the championship. He finally hung up his boots mid-season in 1993, saying his body could no longer take the strain.
With a larger-than-life character like Botham, there were always likely to be non-cricketing stories that would make headlines. He was banned from first-class cricket for two months in 1986 for taking cannabis and admitting in a newspaper article that he had used the drug. He also sued Imran Khan for libel and lost in 1996. But in that same year he was appointed England’s technical adviser for the tour to Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
Remarkably for such a big man - not for nothing was he known as “Beefy” he played professional football, albeit for Scunthorpe. After leaving cricket, Botham became a respected television commentator on the game. He also became renowned for his long-distance walks - including one across the Alps retracing Hannibal’s steps - raising more than five million pounds for leukaemia research. In 1992 he was awarded the OBE for services to cricket and his charity work. (Graham Holburn, Copyright CricInfo 2001)
I’ve lost the thread, as it were. Could you gents put me right?
Clicking on Mark’s link just took me to the home page of the auction site and a terrifying confrontation with the image of Barry Venison. What exactly did you buy, Mark? Was it something to do with Botham?
He bought a signed photo photo of the man (the legend) described above.
Even Botham couldn’t save the current English team from a 5-0 whitewash in the Ashes :!:
I also got the signed piccie of Sir Henry knocking, the then Cassius Clay, on his arse (Ali said that it was the hardet punch he ever received!) Clay came back to beat Cooper (albeit, with a bit of cheating by his coach, Angelo Dundee, who sliced Clay’s glove). A bit ironic that i got two pics of the Poms winning when they went on to lose in the future!! Same ol’ story!
I know Mark. How about Phill Tuffnell, is he still on the Pommy cricket scene. Would love to crack some gags about him?
Is there anywhere to watch the game. I’d love to sit around watching Brett Lee terrorise the Poms just one more time. Anyone got satalitte?
The poms are in for a thrashing. Aus almost 200/0 just before tea on the first day.
Uh oh. Silence of the lambs all over.
Did you manage to find a place to watch the cricket? And do you have any info re: tv times etc for the coming world cup.
The poms are in for a thrashing. Aus almost 200/0 just before tea on the first day.[/quote]
We’ll give you chaps a bit of a start and then gently assert our superiority. It is Christmas, after all, and we are your guests, so it’s quite right that we show a little mercy.
A worthy trait indeed!
See how the wickets are tumbling now! Hayden, Ponting and Martyn sent scurrying back to the pavilion already. But we’d better time it right so that we open our innings at start of play tomorrow rather than just before close of play today.
Lots more loving coming your way.
Your boys are fighting a good rearguard action. Looks like you’ll be able to make a game of it after all.
How much Langer do you think he’ll be at the crease?