Absolutely meets Sir Ian Botham to talk cricket, golf and the power of cannabidiol
Sir Ian Botham is remembered for routinely besting titans of cricket. Now 67, Botham enjoyed a long and (very) illustrious career; for Somerset, the England team, as well as spells in Australia.
Frankly, it’s good of them to let him in, given his celebrated match-winning performance against Kim Hughes’s baggy greens during the Ashes Test at Headingley, in 1981. Electing to bat first, Australia had England on the ropes and enforced the follow-on. Out strode Botham, clocking an unbeaten 149 runs before heading back to the dressing room for a cigar. That he also took seven wickets only cemented his legend.
So it came as something of a challenge when in July last year Botham found himself unable to walk around a golf course as he once could – in addition to being one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders, golf is a lifelong passion.
It was his son, Liam, who sent his father something new to incorporate in his daily routine. Specifically, the EthicaCBD Sports Gel with CBD and CBG. Based in the seaside town of Bude, in Cornwall, the company launched three years ago and have quickly earned global recognition, winning a gong at the World CBD Awards in 2022. CBD products are increasingly being incorporated into wellness regimes. As the name suggests, EthicaCBD go to great lengths to create what they describe as, “the highest quality ethical CBD for people and planet”.
As it turns out, alongside proving themselves as the ethical front runner of the UK CBD industry, they’re also getting sporting legends quite literally back into the swing of things. After using the all-natural CBD gel, Botham returned to the fairway and renewed his spot in competitive golf, turning out in the Alfred Dunhill Links last year.
In conversation with Botham, ‘competitive’ is a word that crops up a lot. The Botham family is a genuine sporting dynasty. His son, the aforementioned Liam, played county cricket for Hampshire, as well as dual codes in top-flight rugby (union for Cardiff Blues, league for Bradford Bulls).
Liam’s son, James, meanwhile, plies his own sporting trade in elite rugby union, bothfor Cardiff and the Wales national side. As a passionate Englishman, is Botham senior conflicted about having a dragon in the dynasty? “Goodness, no. James was born in Wales and always swore allegiance.”
Just as well, considering James’ fiancée is the Wales hockey international Izzy Webb. In any Botham household, the competitive instinct is strong. “I play everything to win. I even want to beat the grandchildren at tiddlywinks”, Botham says.
These days it’s golf that keeps his competitive juices flowing. “When I was playing county cricket, a lot of the guys played golf.” For a world-class batsman, golf is surely a seamless transition. “It should be, given a golf ball is still when you hit it but it doesn’t always work that way.”
Of those able to make the switch, Botham recalls that, “Viv could hit the ball a long way”. ‘Viv’, for those too young to remember, is Sir Vivian Richards, the fearsome West Indies batsman who could no doubt hit a cannonball across the Channel. “At my peak I played off a handicap of 3,” Botham says. Which must have seemed a distant memory last summer. At the Dunhill Links, Botham found that the gel was the competitive advantage that he needed.
The gel’s active ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD), was first discovered in 1940 but it’s only in recent years that it has been developed for use in a wide range of products. EthicaCBD Sports Gel combines two powerful cannabinoids with other dynamic natural extracts such as organic silicium, black-pepper oil, menthol and camphor, ensuring you get the very best plant-based care.