Ian Terence Botham OBE, (born November 24th, 1955 in Heswall, Cheshire) (nicknamed "Beefy") was one of England's best-ever cricketers and one of the best all-round cricketers of all time. In a test career spanning 15 years from 1977, he made 5200 runs at 33.54 and took 383 wickets at an average of 28.40. Similarly successful at one-day cricket, he was Wisden cricketer of the year in 1978.
He made his Test debut for England on 28 July 1977 in the Third Test against Australia . He played 102 Tests, and was England captain for 12 Tests in 1980 and 1981.
Ian holds a number of Test records as an all-rounder, including being the fastest (in terms of matches) to achieve the "doubles" of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets, 2,000 runs and 200 wickets, and 3,000 runs and 300 wickets. He was the first player to score 5,000 runs and take 300 Test wickets, and the first to score a century and take 10 wickets in the same Test match. When he retired, he held the world record for the greatest number of Test wickets, although his tally has subsequently been passed.
During the 1981 Ashes, Ian set a record of six sixes in a single Ashes Test Match at Old Trafford (It wasn’t until 2005 that this record was broken by Andrew Flintoff).
He served as England captain for 12 Tests in 1980, but resigned the captaincy after a loss and a draw in the first two Tests of the 1981 Ashes series, with Botham being out for a "pair" at the Second Test at Lord's. However, he subsequently scored 149 not out in the second innings of the Third Test at Headingley, a turning point as England went on to win the series 3-1. Botham took 5-11 in Australia's second innings at Edgbaston and scored another century at Old Trafford. Unsurprisingly he was made “BBC Sports Personality of the Year 1981�?. His fantastic performance will forever have a place in English sporting history. The 1981 series is now commonly known as "Botham's Ashes".
He started his first-class career with Somerset in 1974. He left Somerset in 1985 and then played for Worcestershire between 1986 and 1991. In 1992, he joined County Championship newcomers Durham before retiring midway through the 1993 season. He also played for Queensland.
After retiring as a player, he became an authoritative television commentator and has participated in a number of long-distance fund-raising walks for charities, raising more than five million pounds.
He was appointed an OBE in 1992 for services to cricket. For several years, he was a resident team captain on the BBC quiz show "A Question Of Sport". In 2004, he won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.