THIEVES got away with jewellery worth an estimated £70,000 after raiding the home of cricket legend Ian Botham in the region.

The burglary took place at the former England star's country house in Ravensworth, near Richmond, North Yorkshire.

The thieves struck while Botham and his wife, Kathy, had guests staying.

Police investigating the theft are now planning to interview everybody who was at the Bothams' home when the theft took place, over the weekend of July 23 and 24.

Barbara Hird, a barmaid at the Bay Horse Inn, Ravensworth, said Botham and his wife were a nice couple, who did not deserve to be targeted by thieves.

She said: "It's such a shame - it seems nothing is sacred these days. If you were having a party and somebody broke in, it would be horrendous.

"We had a spate of burglaries before Christmas in the village, but nothing since then."

Another villager said: "Ian and Kathy will be very angry that their home has been invaded like this."

Earlier this week, two people were arrested in connection with the incident and have now been released on bail, pending further inquiries.

No details have yet been released of the stolen items.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "We can confirm we have received a report of a burglary in Ravensworth involving high value stolen property."

Botham, now a Sky Sports commentator, is well known for his charity work and for being England's greatest all rounder. In 102 Tests, he scored 5,200 runs and took 383 wickets.

He and Kathy have three children - Liam, 26, Sarah, 24, Becky, 18.

A spokesman for Mission Sports Management, which represents the 49-year-old, said: "Mr Botham will not be commenting on the incident."