By common consent, he is England's greatest-ever all-rounder.
Ever since the inaugural Test was played against Australia way back in 1877, it has been England's good fortune to have produced many cricketers who have been able bat and bowl with aplomb. But none could rival Ian Botham's ability to change the course of a match in a matter of minutes - either through a dramatically destructive spell of bowling or through some bold, adventurous hitting.
Little wonder then that he is comfortably perched on everyone's list of all-time greatest England XI at No 6 - the ubiquitous one whose presence could inspire any team.
From the time Botham made his debut for England in 1977 till his last international 15 years later, he was the cricketer to whom the captain and the team looked to for great deeds.
And but for the odd occasion, he never let them down.
Much has been written about his superhuman feats in the series against Australia in 1981 - a contest that has gone down in history as Botham's Ashes - when he almost single-handedly revived England's fortunes with a astonishing run of all-round performances.
But then he held centre stage on many other occasions too.
The only cricketer to score a hundred and take 13 wickets in a Test, the only cricketer to perform the double of a century and five wickets in an innings as many as five times - no one has done it more than twice - Botham was the dominant personality in world cricket for almost a decade and a half.
He was not merely the leading English cricketer of the 80s, but their leading sports personality.
His every move â on and off the field - was bisected, dissected and analysed, and no other cricketer commanded the kind of television coverage and newspaper headlines till Shane Warne almost two decades later.
Image: Botham lights up a cigaratte after scripting England's great come-from-behind win in the Headingley Test of 1981.
Text: Partab Ramchand | Getty Images (Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited)