London, Aug 16: Former captain Ian Botham today revealed he was always at the receiving end of banter from fellow commentators because of England's poor performance but with the hosts becoming the number one Test team, he can now feel very proud of being an English.
"There were times when I would arrive at grounds all over the world to commentate and be given short shrift by my fellow pundits from rival countries. They would enjoy a bit of mickey-taking and old-fashioned banter because my team were being soundly beaten on a regular basis," Botham wrote in his column in ''Daily Mirror''.
"Even though I hoped things would change, they did not for a long time. I''d have to leave grounds out of a back or side door to avoid abuse from the crowds - both English and opposition - as they vented their frustrations or laughed at another poor performance by our boys.
"But that has all changed and for the first time since the rankings began we are officially the best Test team in the world," he added.
One of the finest all-rounders of all time, Botham feels England''s ascendancy to the number one status is about the home team''s brilliance rather than India''s listless performance.