Botham to set off on eight-day walk for charity
For a man who was famously averse to unnecessary exertion during his playing career, Ian Botham has chosen a charitable pursuit that doesn't quite fit the 'Beefy' legend. For almost 30 years, Botham has undertaken walks for charity, and while it's not quite like hitting a hundred while hungover, it has proved worthwhile enough for Botham to announce he will embark on another, this time in Sri Lanka. The walk, lasting eight days, will start on November 1.
Having teamed up with the Laureus Foundation, the Foundation of Goodness and Tharunayata Hetak (A tomorrow for youth), Botham will walk from Killinochchi, in the heart of Sri Lanka's former northern war-zone, to Seenigama - a village ravaged and rebuilt after the 2004 Tsunami. Proceeds will go towards providing sports equipment and facilities to young Sri Lankans in the north and east of the country.
"Walking through the 40 degrees heat and the humidity will be a great challenge, and it will be a testing factor," Botham said in Colombo on Thursday. "It's going to be like nothing I have ever attempted before and it's going to be my most demanding ever.
"I have really strong connections with Sri Lanka and I know if I can raise a lot of money it is going to do so much good for young people here, I am determined to make a success of it," he said.
Botham will not lack for good company. He will be joined by the likes of Shane Warne, Michael Vaughan, Sourav Ganguly, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene on different days of the walk.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here