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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Friday's Connector: Ian Botham

April 7th, 2010
05:40 PM ET

Sir Ian Botham is one of England's most well known and respected cricketers and over the course of his fifteen year career, he still holds a number of records.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/07/botham.art.jpg
caption="What do you want to ask Sir Ian Botham?"]

Born in 1955 in Cheshire, England, Botham had to choose at an early age whether he would focus his talents on the sport of football or cricket.

At first, Botham was intent on pursuing a career solely on cricket, but after an injury, Botham joined the Scunthorpe United football club as a forward.

Botham played a total of 11 games in the Football League.

However, it is Botham's career as a test cricketer that is remembered.

Botham had his international test cricket debut on July 28, 1977 against Australia in the role of an all-rounder - batting on his right hand side with a fast bowling style.

Over the course of his test cricket career, Botham had more than 5,200 runs and is recognised as one of England's greatest Test players.

Botham still holds the record for the highest number of wickets taken by an England bowler.

Since leaving cricket, Botham has become recognized for his charitable work and most notably his work with the organization Leukaemia Research. This Month he heads out on a 10 day charity walk in support of the organization.

Here's your chance to send in your comments and questions to Ian Botham.

Please leave them below and remember to tell us where you're writing from.

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. izzo

    what is your favourite record that you broke and felt the happiest?

    April 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  2. Waseem

    Question for Mr. Botham: I appreciate you are a man of stature in your field, thats cricket and the position you have achieved is because of the love towards the game. How important is the 'money' Vs 'love for the game' to you. Considering, the recent introduction of concept like IPL provides greater earning prospects for the young players.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:33 am | Reply
  3. Festus

    From Nigeria.

    Which teams is d difficult one ever meet.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:46 am | Reply
  4. micool

    what challanged you most in life

    April 8, 2010 at 11:48 am | Reply
  5. Johnson

    Which club do you played for,when you are still a footballer.

    April 8, 2010 at 11:53 am | Reply
  6. Akinyemi Nifemi

    Cricket is a game i love so much. Why did you choose cricket over football?

    April 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  7. Idris Ahmed

    Hi! At what age did you start playing cricket and what inspired you to this game?
    From Nigeria.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  8. Ramesh

    Sir, I want to know your views and thoughts about IPL and how it affected the pure spirit of Cricket. Because it is not about pure Cricket just about money, sponsorships etc. All the emerging youngsters tempting to play there. If
    there is any positive outcomes those are for hosts,not for the rest.

    April 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  9. Uchechukwu samuel

    Sir how was it like growing up with your parents and also how did you felt the first day you stood on an int'l cricket pitch

    April 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  10. Ifeanyi Okoye

    sir, what makes you to stop playing football and go back to cricket.

    April 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  11. reynolds inimgba ,paris

    was it hard for you to decide between football and cricket?if yes how did you feel not getting to play the least favorite?

    April 8, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  12. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Ian Terence Botham and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Ian Terence Botham to the following questions:
    – When will there be a musical and or movie about your live?
    – How can we help to stop Leukaemia worldwide?
    – What can we expect from you in 2010?
    – How are you inspiring people all over the world to make our world a Better Healthier and Beautiful Place?

    I am awaiting Ian Terence Botham’s replies.

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    April 8, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  13. Danish

    I have 2 questions for you Mr. Botham...
    1. Over the course of your career, which is one player that you found the most competitive to play against?
    2. What are your memories of the 1992 cricket world cup final?

    April 8, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  14. Ranjan

    How important is the 'money' Vs 'love for the game' to you.

    The above question has also got a second part. How many people can afford to watch test match for 5 full days, just for the love of it? At least, I do not know of many. ODI and T20 had to come into being for survival of cricket.

    I personally am not a fan of T20 and IPL but I believe that they are necessary evils of modern cricket. To me ODI is a reasonable compromise.

    April 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  15. KOUDJO

    sir pls what do advise me if l may choose btn basketball nd criquet? my interst is 50% to each. frm GHANA

    April 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  16. Chathura

    I am from Sri Lanka, i have two questions for you sir 1.Who do you think is the best attack to take on the aussies this winter? 2.What are your views about South African born cricketer's appying their trade for England?

    April 8, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  17. Sameer Pathak

    Why dont you coach a cricket team? You could surely bring out best in character and performance in a many a team...including IPL....

    April 8, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  18. Victor O. Ogu

    Sir,please i would like to know your early major challenges in becoming what you are today. VICTOR O. OGU from Canada(GEORGIAN COLLEGE)

    April 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  19. D.Nagarajan

    Hello Sir,

    I am an Indian working in Switzerland.

    I have two questions –

    Do you regret not having played in the 1987 world cup, you could have helped win the final and of course the cup,?
    Just to add we in India could never have the joy to see you play on our soil after 1981-82.

    Do you think we should go back to uncovered pitches to even out the battle between bat and ball?

    Thank you for your time Sir.

    April 8, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  20. hamayoun

    wat u think about imran khan?what about the leage sue which u were loss............

    April 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  21. Ian Church

    How did it feel to lose a fight to Ian Chappell? Do you think you would have done better were you a little fitter?

    April 8, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  22. Sumant Renukarya

    Hello Sir,

    It's my pleasure to talk to you in some way! Thanks to CNN.

    1. What is currently missing in the West Indies cricket world, who were once a terror and ruled the cricket world in the 70's and 80's?
    2. Sachin Tendulkar or Ricky Ponting or Brian Lara or other? What would be your pick for the best batsmen among these?
    3. Test cricket or ODI? What's your pick? T-20 is not cricket for me 😉
    4. Should cricket be a part of Olympics?

    I would be glad to hear from you.

    Thank you very much!

    Bangalore, India

    April 8, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  23. Whitman Browne

    Sir Ian:

    Because you and Viv Richards played against each other with so much zest, it was a real surprise to see such a bond develop between you both. How did it happen?

    What do you see as the future of 20/20 cricket?

    Never knew you also played football. If you could do it over again which sport would you choose?

    April 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  24. Fahad Zaidi

    Sir, if iam lucky enough to pass this one through...and you really read this, then first of all i would like you to know that cricket has produced very few legends since its been played...and undoubtedly your name comes amongst the very best of test cricket legends.

    My question to you is...why has cricket become so politicized in our generation? i mean..in Pakistan, during all these years, we have only seen politics in our cricket and nothing else! i always loved cricket more than anything else...but after all this...i really dont like it anymore. and not only in my country...i dont see the purity in this game anymore..i dont know why, but it all seems so controlled by the mafia, bookies, gambling, political reasons between nations..i mean now when i look at young kids, they dont have the passion of this game anymore like we used when we were their age... so my question is really simple...
    do u think all this will haunt this game for the generations to come? coz of course you know this better than me Sir, that this game has lost its passion and purity if you compare the time when you used to play...and the way it is played now...because the way i see it in my country, other games such as football, are taking over cricket. All day I hear that cricket is becoming more like business...these 20-20 leagues and everything!...Ten years down the road, I dont see cricket being played the way it should be...it won't remain a "gentlemen game" anymore.

    Fahad Zaidi,

    April 8, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  25. Iyke

    What was giving u such an optmistic spirit in the game of cricket from nigeria

    April 9, 2010 at 12:19 am | Reply
  26. M.Ravindra Kumar


    Who do you think in India's best ever captain?

    April 9, 2010 at 12:21 am | Reply
  27. Chidi

    He is a lenged after fiftee year of career he still hold a number of records, he is a man of respect he desever it, he need to be a coche in circket.

    April 9, 2010 at 12:31 am | Reply
  28. imran yasin

    hello sir ian
    my question is that do people recognise you more as a cricket legend or as a devoted person for you charity work?
    also what was the best comment you recieved off the field from someone not related to cricket after that famous 1981 ashes test at HEADINGLY.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:21 am | Reply
  29. R.Sankaranarayanan

    Dear Botham,
    I cannot forget two tests in your estinguished cricket career.
    1. Against Austrialia, after being followed on, you went on post an incredible win over – mainly due to your dominating second innings knock of 149 not out
    2. Golden jubiliee test in wankhede stadium against India in 1980 under G.Vishwanath captaincy – Single handedly won the all important test by taking 13 wickets and a century

    Both the above tests were amazing and a delight to watch.
    Do you rememer any other test of your liking which can be shared by us?

    April 9, 2010 at 5:08 am | Reply
  30. Ankur


    My question is not about cricket. I have been to UK and I love the place, esp Peak District.
    1. Which in your view is the most beautiful place in UK/Earth?
    2. Which was the best place to play cricket?
    3. What other sports do you like?


    April 9, 2010 at 5:44 am | Reply
  31. Sadiat suleiman

    Sir how did feel when u leave ur family to other countries beceuse of game.and how did u come about it?

    April 9, 2010 at 6:28 am | Reply
  32. Archbald

    Why, in your opinion, Cricket is dying in places like West Indies and England?..and any suggestion to revive the interest of that game in these regions and even further, non-cricket playing countries?

    April 9, 2010 at 7:02 am | Reply
  33. Sachin

    ian, good morning,
    my question is how would you rate the bowlers of today ( ie last 5 years ) v/s the great fast bowlers of the 80's. And who was the best bowler of your era.


    April 9, 2010 at 7:39 am | Reply
  34. Sri

    Hello Sir Ian Botham,

    Do you think wives and girlfriends should be allowed to tour with the players for ashes to australia? Are they a good/bad influence?

    Thankyou in advance

    Huddersfield, UK

    April 9, 2010 at 8:32 am | Reply
  35. Vivi

    Sir,Wot were ur difficultie (failure) in spirit of d game CRICKET in whçh tornement did u loose mostly and solutñ 2 such problems? 4rm Nigeria

    April 9, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply
  36. mark Amarakuo

    what has been ur most easeist record and at what age did u start achieving them. nigeria

    April 9, 2010 at 10:09 am | Reply
  37. Miiz the awesome

    why does USA don't play cricket ? and how do you see IPL from 10 Years now?? If its going to be a biggest profit maker tournament in next decade?/?

    April 9, 2010 at 10:33 am | Reply
  38. Haroon Y Khan

    What was going through your mind when you went out to bat in THAT Headingly Leeds ASHES match ...

    April 9, 2010 at 10:50 am | Reply
  39. Christian Jennings

    Greetings from Paddy Foley's CC Japan –
    In your view, is cricket a matter of carefully out-smarting an opponent, or a case of displaying ones skill and determination? Which is it in your opinion?

    Richard Hadlee, Geoff Boycott or The Dalai Lama?

    Did you ever feel nervous, and if yes, at what time, and how did you counter that ?

    Your life has had many high points to date, but which moments have been the most fulfilling (including off field/family) ?

    Best wishes with all your future endeavors , and thank you for the memories.

    April 9, 2010 at 11:27 am | Reply
  40. Christian Jennings

    Sir Ian Botham & friends,

    You're most welcome to come and play a charity match with us here in Tokyo anytime you like !

    Paddy Foley's Cricket Club – Japan

    April 9, 2010 at 11:36 am | Reply
  41. Miiz the awesome

    Is tournament format like IPL is an good example of other sports in INDIA who don't get much attention? As they get provide win-win situation for both public as well as Organizer?


    April 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  42. Ashiru

    Slm. Ian in this situation, what is your position now a day? After doing that wonderful job. Thanks.ASHIRU NIGERIA

    April 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  43. Abraham Femi

    1. Sir,what is your greatest victory or happiest moment in the world of cricket so far?
    2. Sir,are you dreaming or thinking in coaching a cricket team or having a team of yours?

    April 13, 2010 at 7:10 am | Reply

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