Sir Ian Botham: Durham chairman defends his attendance record at Riverside

Sir Ian Botham
Sir Ian Botham played for Durham in their inaugual first class season in 1992

Former England captain Sir Ian Botham says he does not need to be a visible presence at Durham matches to most suitably serve his role as chairman.

Botham, 61, took on the role last November after the financial problems that led to Durham's demotion to County Championship Division Two for 2017.

He had previously played for the county between 1992 and 1993.

"What am I going to do at the ground? Hold the players' hands and have a cup of tea with them?" Botham said.

He told BBC Look North: "I don't think that's what we're really about, I think the job is about me trying to bring money into the club, bring sponsorship on and to make us more solvent.

"There's a lot more going on than what is seen. It never stops. That's fine, that's great and I'm enjoying the role."

Since relegation from the first division and a points deduction across all formats, Durham have seen a swell of members with record sales for this season.

With the Durham County Council and the England and Wales Cricket Board's respective financial packages maintaining professional cricket in the north east, Botham has had to rebuild and establish new relationships for the newly-restructured club.

"People were scared of us because of negative publicity," Botham added.

"We had to break those barriers down. We're very happy where we are, it seems to get better everyday and we'll do what we can do.

"We'll plug away, we're a proactive club and we'll do it in our own way."

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