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Johan Botha (born 2 May 1982) is a South African-Australian cricket coach and former 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. In January 2019, he retired from all forms of the game.[1]

Johan Botha
Johan Botha.jpg
Botha training with South Africa in 2009
Personal information
Full nameJohan Botha
Born (1982-05-02) 2 May 1982 (age 37)
Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
BowlingRight-arm offbreak
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 299)2 January 2006 v Australia
Last Test20 November 2010 v Pakistan
ODI debut (cap 80)16 November 2005 v India
Last ODI3 March 2012 v New Zealand
T20I debut (cap 13)9 January 2006 v Australia
Last T20I2 October 2012 v India
Domestic team information
2001–2004Eastern Province
2012–2014South Australia
2012–2014Adelaide Strikers (BBL)
2015–2018Sydney Sixers (BBL)
2009–2012Rajasthan Royals (IPL)
2013Delhi Daredevils (IPL)
2015Kolkata Knight Riders (IPL)
2011Northamptonshire (T20)
2015Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel (CPL)
2018–2019Hobart Hurricanes (BBL)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC T20
Matches 5 78 90 204
Runs scored 83 609 4,015 1,960
Batting average 20.75 19.03 31.61 19.60
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 1/27 0/2
Top score 25 46 109 67*
Balls bowled 1,017 3,823 14,656 4,055
Wickets 17 72 220 155
Bowling average 33.70 40.50 32.28 28.28
5 wickets in innings 0 0 7 0
10 wickets in match 0 n/a 1 n/a
Best bowling 4/56 4/19 6/34 4/16
Catches/stumpings 3/– 36/– 63/– 87/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 2 March 2018

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 Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League. He has also made appearances in the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.


Early life and careerEdit

Botha was born in Johannesburg but attended Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, the same school that other notable South African cricketers such as Graeme Pollock attended, and captained a South Africa Schools cricket team.[2] In the early parts of his cricket career he was a medium-pace bowler, but when he was playing cricket for the Warriors, future South African coach Mickey Arthur suggested that he should switch bowling style to off break, which Botha then bowled for the rest of his professional career.[2][3] Once he had made the switch he also focused on learning to bowl a doosra, a ball which turns in the opposite direction to a normal off break.[3]

A year after changing bowling styles, Botha went traveled with South Africa A, South Africa's second XI team, to Sri Lanka. He took key wickets and scored runs to put his name up as a potential future Test spinner for South Africa.[3]

ODI debutEdit

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 side′s world cup campaign.

Test debut and throwing allegationsEdit

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6]

On 21 November 2006, Johan Botha's action was passed by the International Cricket Council and he was again eligible for selection by the South African national team.[7]

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.[8]

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.

Botha bowling in the Adelaide Oval nets, January 2009

However his action was then deemed within the legal limits.

Captaincy of the Protea T20 teamEdit

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.[9] 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.

IPL careerEdit

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.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "South Africa all-rounder Johan Botha retires from all cricket". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Hartman, Rodney (27 January 2009). "Here's to the captain". The Star.
  3. ^ a b c "Johan Botha". The Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket 2009. Hardie Grant Books. 2008. ISBN 978 1742732 169.
  4. ^ S Africa spinner Botha reported, from BBC Sport, published 6 January 2006
  5. ^ Spinner Botha banned from bowling, from BBC Sport, published 7 February 2006
  6. ^ Botha's action declared illegal, from Cricinfo, published 2 September 2006
  7. ^ Botha's action passed by ICC, from Cricinfo, published 21 November 2006
  8. ^ Botha reported for suspected 'illegal action', from Cricdb published 14 April 2009
  9. ^

External linksEdit