Johan Botha (cricketer)
Botha training with South Africa in 2009
|Full name||Johan Botha|
2 May 1982 |
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Bowling style||Right-arm off spin|
|Test debut (cap 299)||2 January 2006 v Australia|
|Last Test||20 November 2010 v Pakistan|
|ODI debut (cap 80)||16 November 2005 v India|
|Last ODI||3 March 2012 v New Zealand|
|T20I debut (cap 13)||9 January 2006 v Australia|
|Last T20I||2 October 2012 v India|
|Domestic team information|
|2015||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Source: ESPNcricinfo, 25 November 2016|
Johan Botha (born 2 May 1982) is a former South African international cricketer who played for the South African national team between 2005 and 2012. He moved to Australia in 2012 to play in that country's domestic leagues, and in 2016 became an Australian citizen.
Born in Johannesburg, Botha represented the South African under-19s at the 2000 Under-19 World Cup, and made his first-class debut for Eastern Province later in the year, aged 18. An all-rounder who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm off-spin, he made his international debut in November 2005, in a One Day International (ODI) against India. Botha's Test debut came in January 2006, against Australia, although at the end of the match he was reported for an illegal bowling action (an issue that arose on several more occasions). He would play only five Test matches in total during his career, the last of which came in 2010.
Botha had much greater success in the limited-overs formats, representing South Africa at the 2009 World Twenty20, the 2009 Champions Trophy, the 2010 World Twenty20, the 2011 World Cup, and the 2012 World Twenty20. He captained the team for periods at both ODI and Twenty20 International level, generally in the absence of more senior players. Botha retired from international cricket after the 2012 World Twenty20, signing a contract to captain South Australia in Australian domestic cricket. He currently only plays at Twenty20 level, representing the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League. He has also made appearances in the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.
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Botha began his career as an ordinary medium pacer for the Eastern Cape Warriors - by his own admission quicker than 125 km/h. It was only after Mickey Arthur, the former coach of the national team, had a look at him in the nets and saw potential as a spinner that Botha dropped his ambitions for speed. Spurred on by Arthur's comments that he would do well to turn to spin, Botha remodeled his action and began studying the art of the off spinner and doosra in hopes of emulating the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Harbhajan Singh. A successful tour of Sri Lanka with the South Africa A side - in which he took key wickets as well as scoring runs - saw Botha's name penciled in as a potential spinning all-rounder.
A determined and fiercely competitive individual, Botha found a place in the squad to tour India for a five-match one-day series after Nicky Boje pulled out over security concerns in regard to charges of match fixing. He played in the first match at Hyderabad and produced a spell of 31 runs from six overs with the wicket of Irfan Pathan, bowled through the gate. Both Arthur and Graeme Smith rated him highly enough to see him as a vital part of the sides world cup campaign.
Test debut and throwing allegations
He made his Test debut against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2006 during the 2005–06 tour, and claimed batsman Mike Hussey as his first Test wicket. However, he was reported for throwing the ball at the conclusion of the match. He was allowed to play several games during the 2005–06 VB Series, but in February, was suspended from bowling following an analysis by bowling expert Bruce Elliott. He hoped to return to bowling after an examination by the ICC in August 2006, but he was found still to be straightening his arm more than the acceptable 15 degrees.
He made his comeback during the 2007 Afro-Asia Cup and returned to the South African one-day team during the tour of Pakistan in 2007–08.
On 14 April 2009, he was again reported for suspected illegal action. The match officials cited concern over two components of Botha's repertoire, his quicker ball and his doosra, after the completion of fourth ODI against Australia at Port Elizabeth.
On 12 May 2009 the ICC announced that Botha's doosra ball had been deemed 'illegal' by an independent test and that he would not be allowed to bowl the delivery in international cricket. The same test found his off-break and arm-ball deliveries to be bowled within the permitted tolerance level of 15 degrees of elbow extension.
The test was carried out on 30 April by Prof. Bruce Elliott, member of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists, at the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Western Australia, Perth. The doosra delivery was found to have an extension of 26.7 degrees and no single delivery tested was within the legal limit. Botha was told that he could re-apply for the delivery to be tested again once he had modified it, or appeal the decision within 14 days.
However his action was then deemed within the legal limits.
Captaincy of the Protea T20 team
On 20 August 2010 Graeme Smith announced that he was to surrender the captaincy in T20 Internationals but continue playing in the format. Cricket South Africa subsequently handed over the captaincy to his deputy Botha. Botha also took the One-Day International captaincy after the 2011 Cricket World Cup when Smith gave up his ODI captaincy. The deciding factor was that Botha had led South Africa to a series win against Australia earlier in 2010 when Smith was absent with injury. Botha's first match as permanent captain was on 7 October 2010 against Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe scored what looked like a competitive 168 however Zimbabwe's bowling attack severely let them down and it was easily chased by the South Africans with seven-wickets and five-overs to spare.
Johan Botha had played for 2 franchises in the IPL, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils. In IPL 2015, Chris Lynn (who was playing for Kolkata Knight Riders) got injured, and Johan Botha was signed in as a replacement for him.
- S Africa spinner Botha reported, from BBC Sport, published 6 January 2006
- Spinner Botha banned from bowling, from BBC Sport, published 7 February 2006
- Botha's action declared illegal, from Cricinfo, published 2 September 2006
- Botha's action passed by ICC, from Cricinfo, published 21 November 2006
- Botha reported for suspected 'illegal action', from Cricdb published 14 April 2009
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