Sir Ian Terence Botham (born 24 November 1955) is an English cricket commentator and a former cricketer who has been chairman of Durham County Cricket Club since 2017. Widely regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in cricket history, Botham represented England in both Test and One-Day International cricket. He played most of his first-class cricket for Somerset, and also for Worcestershire, Durham and Queensland. He was an aggressive right-handed batsman and, as a right arm fast-medium bowler, was noted for his swing bowling. He generally fielded close to the wicket, predominantly in the slips. In Test cricket, Botham scored 14 centuries with a highest score of 208, and from 1986 to 1988, he held the world record for the most Test wickets until overtaken by fellow all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee. He took five wickets in an innings 27 times and 10 wickets in a match four times. In 1980, he became the second player in Test history to complete the “match double” of scoring 100 runs and taking 10 wickets in the same match.
Botham has at times been involved in controversy including a highly publicised court case involving rival all-rounder Imran Khan and an ongoing dispute with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). These incidents, allied to his on-field success, have attracted media attention, especially from the tabloid press. Botham has made effective use of the fame given to him by the publicity because he is actively concerned about leukaemia in children and has undertaken several long distance walks to raise money for research into the disease. These efforts have been highly successful and have realised millions of pounds for Bloodwise, of which he became president. In recognition of his services to charity, he was awarded a knighthood in the 2007 New Years Honours List. On 8 August 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Botham has a wide range of sporting interests outside cricket. He was a talented footballer at school and had to choose between cricket and football as a career. He chose cricket but, even so, he did play professional football for a few seasons and made eleven appearances in the Football League for Scunthorpe United. He is a keen golfer and his other pastimes include angling and shooting.
On the occasion of England’s 1000th Test in August 2018, he was named in the country’s greatest Test XI by the ECB.