ESPN  Cricket Info reminds us of those glory days  and English   cricket hereo…Ian Botham

After a wretched tour of West Indies where almost as much was written about alleged activities off the field as anything which happened in the middle, Botham was quoted in the Mail on Sunday admitting that he had used cannabis despite previous denials of such claims. The tabloids led a witch-hunt of remarkable moralistic hypocrisy, with some calling for him to be banned for life. Veteran Guardian journalist Frank Keating, however, suggested Botham be paid for “bringing the game into repute”. In the end the ECB spluttered righteous indignation and banned Botham for 63 days. In his absence England slumped to Test defeats against India and New Zealand, before Botham returned with typical bombast, first equalling then breaking Dennis Lillee’s world Test-wickets record in the space of 12 balls of his comeback at The Oval.

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