Lord's prepared for a Botham victory

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The Independent Online
Lord's are ready to welcome Ian Botham if he wins the election to become an England selector.

Botham's nomination by Derbyshire earlier this month seemed to have provoked worries in the corridors of power, with counties immediately being reminded about a possible clash of interests because of the ex-captain's extensive media involvement.

But now, as the former all-rounder's campaign apparently gathers momentum in the run-up to tonight's voting deadline, Lord's officials insist they have "no problem" with any of the eight candidates to join Ray Illingworth's selection panel.

"I'm perfectly happy with all of them," the Test and County Cricket Board chief executive, Alan Smith, said. "All eight are very good people and I don't find it unhealthy to have that many candidates. It has created a lot of public interest, which is good."

Smith will count the votes tomorrow morning and announce the result around lunchtime. Apart from the 40-year-old Botham, the other seven candidates are the former England captain Graham Gooch, Kim Barnett, Brian Bolus, John Edrich, David Graveney, Geoff Miller and Chris Cowdrey.

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