The Seven Network is adding one of the game’s all-time greats – Lord Ian Botham – to its illustrious line-up for what is already shaping as an unforgettable 2021-22 season.
The straight-talking former England Test captain, and one of the best-ever all-rounders with 5,200 Test runs and 383 Test wickets, will join Seven for all five Tests in Australia’s blockbuster Ashes series against England, when the two teams go head-to-head in cricket’s oldest rivalry.
From the opening day of the first Test at The Gabba on 8 December, Lord Botham will be part of Seven’s unrivalled team that will again be led by cricket’s most astute commentator, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
Lord Botham said: “There is nothing more exciting in world sport than England and Australia battling for the Ashes.
“I’m extremely excited to be spending the summer in Australia with Seven and watching England take back the Ashes.”
Following eight five-fors in his first 11 Tests, in 1979, at the age of just 23, Lord Botham became the fifth-fastest in history to 100 wickets. Two years later, after 41 Tests, he became the third-fastest to 200 wickets, by which time he had also made eight of his 14 hundreds. He scored a century and took five wickets in the same Test on five occasions – a feat no other player has managed more than twice in their career – and at Mumbai in 1980, he became the first man to score a century and take 10 wickets in the same Test. Only his great rival, Imran, Khan and Shakib Al Hasan have matched that in the 40 years since.
Managing director Seven Melbourne and head of network sport, Lewis Martin, said: “In a summer when cricket’s greatest-ever rivalry takes centre stage right here on Australian shores, we are going all out to assemble an all-star commentary team.
“One of the legendary cricketers of the modern era, Australia has oft despised, sometimes loved, occasionally laughed with, but always respected ‘Beefy’. His record speaks for itself and it is truly an honour to welcome Lord Botham to Seven this summer.”
Seven will announce full details of its Summer of Cricket coverage in the coming weeks.
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