Sunday, June 17, 2007

Beefy v Nutley

Ian Botham's impending knighthood has got the Nutley thinking how difficult it might now be to track the great all-rounder down for future interviews.

The job I used to do had me phoning across four continents in pursuit of Sir Beefyness and his world exploits don't look like stopping in the future either. Into his fifties, the '81 Ashes hero's zest for life continues: once he's off commentary there's no stopping his pursuit of the high life. The future Lady Botham only gets pestered when he's home so he keeps the body busy with golf, fishing and much else besides.

I once phoned him straight after Steve Harmison's last ball brilliance against Michael Clarke during the Ashes. "Sorry mate," came the reply. "Missed that one. Half way across the Pennines on my way to a function." There's more to life than cricket with Beefy.

And the Nutley's Ian Botham tags aren't boring either. There's Beefy's boat during the World Cup, his wine label with Bob Willis, tracking Beefy down across a mountain pass in Pakistan and then on a boat to Ravi Shastri's joint in Bombay and the Beefy v Lillee Trotting race in 1983.