Ian Botham, sorry, Sir Ian Botham has been one of the most influential cricketers to have played the game for England. He is highly respected in the inner circles of cricket, that is the aura and stature beefy Botham carries. But this statement made by him could spark a new debate. He has claimed that Alastair Cook could have easily smashed Sachin Tendulkar’s record. Well, that is as tall a claim someone can make. Sir Botham feels now that Cook has given up his captaincy, he will have more freedom to express himself and not get caught up in a web. Sir Botham also feels he will play with more assurancde and intent because he is no more going to be burdened with captaincy.
Meanwhile, we have also learnt that Cook first discussed his decision with the Board Chairman Colin Graves before confirming his continuing commitment to playing Test cricket for the country to Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, and the selectors.
Former English skipper and now director Strauss feels this decision will ‘unshakle’ Cook, which will augur well for England.
Speaking to Cricket Australia, Sir Ian Botham said, “Cooky is the one player who has any realistic chance of challenging Sachin Tendulkar`s run-scoring feats and I wouldn`t put it past him to set a global standard for others to chase”.
“He is still a young man. He has made his last decision as England captain and it may yet prove to be one of his best. He will get a new lease of life as a batsman and be able to churn out more runs than any England player ever thought possible,” Sir Botham added.
The southpaw is currently England’s most prolific Test batsman with 11,057 runs in 140 matches till date whereas Tendulkar has 15,921 runs.
England is still in dilly-dally mode over selecting Cook’s successor.