Botham apologises to wife over Aussie affair

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: England cricket legend Ian Botham has publicly apologized to his wife and family after revelations of his affair with an Australian waitress.Details of the 45-year-old former England captain's romance with 31-year old Kylie Verrells were disclosed by a British Sunday newspaper. On Monday the cricketer said he was "extremely sorry".Botham, who lives in Yorkshire North of London, is said to have met Verrells when she served him lunch at a restaurant in Sydney on New Year's Eve 1998.On Monday, he said in a statement carried by British news agencies, "This is obviously a very difficult time for my family and friends. I am extremely sorry for the distress and embarrassment I have caused to them and in particular to my wife."I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to them all and would request that members of the media to leave them alone. I do not intend to make any further statements in connection with this matter."Verrells told the Sunday newspaper, News of the World, that Botham, who has three children, began an affair with her during his stay in Sydney when he was commentating on the Ashes tour in 1998. She said he then asked her to go with him when the tour moved to Adelaide and Melbourne. Six weeks after they met Botham returned home to his wife Kathy, 42, in Yorkshire.But a few months later, the newspaper reported, he met Verrells again when filming a television programme in New Zealand. The newspaper quoted Verrells as saying Botham also took her and her daughter Georgia, 7, to Scotland, travelled with her to Paris and sent her provocative e-mails.She told the paper that Botham had treated her like royalty and she thought her dreams had come true, but she eventually realised he would not leave his wife.Verrells also revealed intimate details of her affair with the cricketer. She had, she said, bought wrist straps, ankle ties and a leather whip after the cricketer asked her to pick up some "kinky stuff".India Abroad News Service

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