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Ian Botham and Bill Beaumont are to stand down as team captains on the BBC's A Question of Sport.

Favourites to step into their shoes are Sue Barker, the former tennis player, and Will Carling, the former England rugby union captain.

Botham, the cricket all-rounder, and Beaumont, another former England rugby captain, decided to step down after recording more than 300 episodes of the show.

Botham has found it difficult to meet his schedule with the BBC while working as a commentator for Sky TV. The BBC last night refused to comment on likely successors.