SIR IAN BOTHAM
You know you've made your mark in Cricket when they name an Ashes series after you.
So it was with Ian Terence Botham, the English all-rounder who helped turn around the amazing series against Australia in 1981 to such an extent that it will always be remembered as 'Botham's Ashes'.
The first two Tests went badly for both England and Botham with a loss and a draw leading to Botham's dismissal as captain. Freed from the shackles of responsibility – but facing an innings defeat – at Headingley in the third Test, Botham smashed an unbeaten 149 that required Australia to knock off 129 to go 2-up in the series.
Bob Willis's 8 for 43 secured a famous, almost unbelievable victory, and Botham then went on to take 5 for 1 in 28 balls to win the next Test before hitting another century in the fifth test that secured the Ashes.
In all, Botham hit 14 centuries and took 383 Test wickets for England, while finding time to play a bit of pro football, smoke a bit of dope, fall out with a number of the game's great and good and then retire to raise huge amounts of money for charity through a series of gruelling long-distance walks.
Talented, cocky, combative, patriotic and larger than life, Botham's cricketing greatness can be gauged by the fact that it took England nigh on 20 years to find another all-rounder, in the shape of Freddie Flintoff, who could come even vaguely close to matching him.
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Sir Ian Botham
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