Johan Botha is a South African national cricketer often marred with controversy for his bowling style.This off spin bowler and lower order batsman plays professional cricket for the Chevrolet Warriors, other than South Africa and the Rajasthan Royals. He has been retained by the Rajasthan Royals to play at the IPL 5 season 2012.
Botha’s cricket career began as an ordinary medium pacer when he played for Eastern Cape Warriors. Surprisingly when Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, noticed something unusual in his bowling Botha remodeled his action and started developing himself as a spinner on Arthur’s insistence. He studied the art of the doosra - the ball that turns away from the right-handed batsman.
He initially toured Sri Lanka with the South Africa A side and went on to take important wickets and also did well with the bat, earning him the title of as a potential spinning all rounder.
He then toured India for a five match ODI series as a replacement for Nicky Boje, and turned a spell of 31 runs from 6 overs and one wicket. His Test debut came in 2006 against Australia, in which he picked up a vital wicket.
Botha was however reported with illegal bowling action and termed ineligible by Prof. Bruce Elliott, member of the ICC Panel of Human Movement Specialists until further improvement in the style. Finally in the November of 2006 Botha’s action was passed by the ICC and he made his comeback in the 2007 Afro Asia Cup, and later toured to Pakistan with the South African ODI team.
In 2009, Botha was again targeted for his doosra, post the ODI against Australia. The doosra delivery required an arm extension of 26.7 degrees, far beyond the legal limit. Botha was informed to re-modify the delivery and re-apply for its examination.
Botha was recently announced as a selection for the IPL team of Rajasthan Royals, still buoyed with concerns over his doosra, and was also selected for the ICC World T20 2009 held in England. South Africa lost to Pakistan in the semis.
Johan Botha was named the South African Player of the Year in 2008. So far, Johan has played in 5 test matches, 78 ODI’s, 31 T20Is, 67 First class matches and in 167 List A and 110 Twenty20 matches.
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