Born in Heswall, Cheshire, he went to Milford School and made his debut for Somerset in 1974. His Test debut followed in 1977, by which time he had established his reputation as a batsman and as a medium-fast bowler. His attacking batting style made him a great favourite with cricket watchers, although his outspoken views on cricket and a drug scandal (1986) caused some controversy. He captained England in 1980–81 and led Somerset in 1983. By then he had made cricketing history by becoming the first player to score 100 runs and take 8 wickets in a Test match (1978), while in 1979 he established a new record, having taken 100 Test wickets in just 2 years 9 days. Subsequently he became the first player to score 3000 runs and take 250 wickets in Test matches (1982). In 1987 he joined the Worcestershire side; he also spent a season with Queensland (1987–88) and during the winter played football for Scunthorpe United. Defying injury and the press, he regained his place in the England team in 1991 after a lengthy lay off. He joined the Durham side after the close of the 1991 season but retired from professional sport in 1993. Botham has also undertaken charitable work, especially a series of sponsored long-distance walks.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).