Ian Botham November 2, 2013

'I've never been in awe of anyone'

Not even Viv Richards. Ian Botham on his first ton, first wicket, and more

First first-class game for Somerset
It was against Lancashire, at Taunton. I can't remember a great deal and it wasn't a great game. It was a three-dayer but I think it rained a bit and we lost some time. I came out but hardly had a ball to face in the first innings.

I was never one to remember individual games. I remember mainly milestones, such as when I was 14 and playing for Somerset Under-15s, playing at Lord's for the first time, and playing for England when I was 20. I had a tough decision to make before that, choosing between playing football or cricket when I was 15.

First Test wicket
My first Test wicket came on my debut, the third Ashes Test against Australia in 1977. We were playing at Trent Bridge, Australia were batting first and I bowled what must have been a 20-minute spell. I sent down a bit of a loosener to Greg Chappell and he managed to drag it on to his stumps. I ended up with five wickets in the first innings.

First century for England
I remember the first one I scored was against New Zealand in Christchurch in 1978. I managed to get through the nineties to score 103 and we went on to go and win the Test.

First time I was in awe of someone in the dressing room
I've never been in awe of any player. I shared a house with Viv Richards for ten years and that says a lot. We recognised and respected each other's achievements, but no, I would never be in awe of anyone. Although you're not in awe, it is important to have a mutual respect for players in the dressing room.

First time I captained my country
To play for your country is probably the greatest sporting accolade to be bestowed and it is massive for a cricketer. The first game I captained England was against West Indies in 1980. Although it didn't end as well as I would have liked, I captained players in an Ashes-winning side, and I'm very proud to be able to say I have done that.

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