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Get a good sense of the guy, but it's not very good news
on 12 February 2007
This is a slick, ghost written set of apologies for Ian Botham's larger than life antics which certainly had me laughing.
Let's be clear, Botham is the best cricketer England has produced since the War, maybe before that too, I don't know. His charity walks are fantastic and the guy deserves a knighthood, but oh how he lacks self-control.
A fairly standard chug through his early years is followed by some tortuous prose about the various 'controversies' including the discovery of cannabis in a raid on his home and the libel action he took out against Imran Khan.
The stuff about the cannabis is laugh out loud. How he took it from someone because it would be rude not to and then forgot to get rid of it. Yeah right. This ranks with the 'I never take drugs' statement that led to his abortive attempt to sue the Mail. When it became clear that he was lying, he was obliged to take part in a long, front page piece of grovelling which, credit where credit is due, is printed in full.
In his dealing with the South Africans, Botham shows himself to be, well, a bit thick. He gets all outraged when one of the SA negotiators says that Viv Richards could go to SA and 'be an honorary white man' but this is after he has flown in his own team of negotiators in to get his best price for defection. Not surprised Geoffrey Boycott had a pop; at least he was upfront about wanting the cash.
The whole book is a eulogy to his long-suffering wife Kath, but, really, you don't get to hear what she was really upset by. Him shutting her out or other stuff.
It's fun. He is a naughty schoolboy, getting into scrapes (like twisting the head of an airline passenger who had the temerity to complain about language - like lamping a policeman who was not doing what he wanted on a walk) and, generally, getting out of them.
Not the most cerebral work, but it's Ian Botham. What do you expect?