Ian Botham has earmarked the upcoming Ashes series as significant for veteran cricketers who are aiming to secure their legacies in the game. The former England all-rounder noted that both sides have players on the wrong side of their thirties.
Botham feels these crop of older players will know it is their last chance to play in an Ashes series. Australia’s David Warner and Nathan Lyon are 35 and 34 respectively going into the Ashes series. England’s new-ball bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad are also in their late 30s.
Ian Botham highlighted that with both teams having their key players in the twilight of their careers, this Ashes series could be their “last dance.” With England looking to regain the urn, the 66-year old predicts it to be a highly entertaining series. Botham told the Brisbane Times:
“Who knows? This series could decide which side goes on [to win] for the next two or three years. Both sides are soon going to lose key players because of their age. There are a lot of players who are playing, if you like, for the last dance in Ashes cricket.”
“It comes to us all, I am afraid, and we all want to have great memories when we get out there. But you are judged whether you are an English player or an Australian. You are judged on your performances in the Ashes. That is why this is going to be a very, very interesting series.”
Botham, who had a memorable Ashes series in 1981, will serve as a commentator for the Ashes with Seven. He will be in Brisbane ahead of the first Test for the unveiling of a statue to honor former Australian skipper Allan Border.
“Border changed Australian cricket when it was at its lowest” – Ian Botham
Botham paid tribute to Allan Border, lauding him for transforming Australia into a world-class side, starting with the 1989 Ashes series.
“At the end of the day, they are putting a statue outside the Gabba for that guy called Allan Border. He came along and made his presence felt. He was ‘captain grumpy’ but look what we did. Quite rightly, there is a statue going up outside the Gabba and you know what, there should be one outside every Test venue in Australia. He changed Australian cricket when it was at its lowest.”
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The first Test of the Ashes 2021-22 series will kickstart on December 8th in Brisbane.