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Botham "IPL too powerful for good of the game" Published: 03 September 2014

Botham delivered the 2014 Cowdrey Lecture
Botham delivered the 2014 Cowdrey Lecture

Sir Ian Botham used his 2014 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture to express his concerns at the increasing power of the Indian Premier League, suggesting it "should not be there at all."

England's greatest cricketer described the IPL as "too powerful for the long term good of the game" before adding that it "provides the perfect opportunity for betting and therefore fixing".

He said: "I am worried about the IPL. In fact I fear that it shouldn't be there at all as it is changing the priorties in world cricket.

"How on earth did the IPL own the best players in world cricket for two months a year and not pay a penny to the boards who brought these players into the game?

"The IPL is too powerful for the long term good of the game."

Botham on the IPL

On the topic of corruption, Botham called upon the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit to "persue the root of the problem and if necessary expose big names."

Botham's speech also took in topics including:

  • His friend, teammate and fellow cricketing knight, Sir Viv Richards
  • Botham's up-and-down relationship with Lord's and MCC
  • The meaning of th Ashes and how the famous 1981 series changed his life
  • Playing with Somerset in the 1970s
  • Called on UK Prime Minister David Cameron to do more for school sport

The 58-year-old also paid tribute to Colin Cowdrey, the former England captain who the annual Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture is named after, as well as former England batsman Ken Barrington and Botham's great friend, legendary commentator John Arlott.

His address was followed by a panel discussion, hosted by Mark Nicholas and featuring Matt Prior and Sunil Gavaskar, where topics including sledging, walking and the workload on modern players were discussed.

Watch Botham's Lecture again

For more great videos, debates and conversations from the 2014 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, please visit our YouTube channel.


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