When do Ian Botham comments come to life?

Ian Botham (R) along with James Brayshaw (L) and Ricky Ponting (center) during the Second Ashes Test in Adelaide. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST / AFP via Getty Images)

OPINION

Lord Ian Botham was named Britain’s Trade Envoy to Australia last month.

Maybe in his new role he could export his personality Down Under and start showing it on Channel 7’s coverage of Ashes.

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For at the moment, Beefy exhibits about as much panache and punch as the feeble-minded English cricketers he is forced to criticize.

Botham was one of the most exciting players of the match, a one-minute thriller who took the spectators on a wild ride with bat and ball.

Off the field, he was tabloid gold, his tales of partying late at night almost as famous as his deeds between 11 and 6.

It was a given that Botham would join the gallery of former players behind the microphone, and he was a natural, entertaining Sky Sports audience for 25 years before his stay abruptly ended at the end of the last Ashes series in England. .

His ex-teammate and good friend David Gower went at the same time, while much-loved colleagues Michael Holding and David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd also parted company with Sky recently.

That’s even though their passing – in a professional sense – changed something in Botham, at least because of this tour.

Ian Botham’s enthusiasm is at a record low level

Ever since he arrived in Australia, he does not seem to have his usual level of enthusiasm – and it’s not just on the flip side of England’s awful form.

Australian viewers get the impression that he is coming out of his short run, or maybe we’m just used to our own mentally retarded types screaming incessantly into the microphones.

Lloyd talked about the comment field feeling “a little empty” without Botham, Holding and Gower. Maybe Beefy has it the same way.

He looks like a 66-year-old who is forced to go out with guys who are 20-30 years younger and drink craft beer with strawberries, after suddenly being on the singles track.

David Gower, Michael Atherton and Ian Botham, pictured here in comments to Sky Cricket in 2017.

David Gower, Michael Atherton and Ian Botham in comments to Sky Cricket in 2017. (Photo by Visionhaus / Corbis via Getty Images)

During the Boxing Day test, the cameras panned into the comments section as Ricky Ponting and James Brayshaw thrilled us with a captivating story about how they chose bats at the Kookaburra factory back then.

Botham did not even pretend to be interested (admittedly it would have been a stretch), looked straight ahead at the action and no doubt thought he would rather put into one of his Ian Botham cab sauvignons over a long breakfast or tee. of at the nearby Royal Melbourne.

Even a parking lot catch-up with Ian Chappell had more appeal at the time.

A partner wrote to me shortly after: “I do not hope Beefy is paid by the word. He has said about seven.”

Small talk is not really his thing. As he told the audience at the start of Ashes: “I have a very, very low boredom threshold.”

So much is obvious.

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