Why Geoff Boycott should stop lecturing the England team

THROUGHOUT Geoff Boycott’s cricket career, he was known as a player who was bothered only about himself. He did not care a fig for the team, nor for his teammates.

In fact, he was even suspected of running out his teammates in order to save his own wicket.

Now this man, in his 70s, is criticising Kevin Pietersen and accusing him of playing the game the way he (Pietersen) wants, and not in the interests of the team.

And he is giving liberal doses of advice to Alastair Cook on how a team should be captained. He is even daring to judge Cook as incompetent when it comes to the captaincy.

Boycott can do so, because few people bother to probe his past and see what kind of player he was. He is not the first to get away with this – for years, the late Peter Roebuck was offering captaincy advice when he had been unable, as captain of Somerset, to win the county championship though for years he led a team that included Viv Richards, Joel Garner and Ian Botham.

Boycott captained Yorkshire for eight seasons from 1971 to 1978 and never won even a single trophy. Yeah, he sure knew how to captain a team.

He never captained the England team for any length of time; nobody thought him up to the task. The only time he captained England was in New Zealand, in 1977-78, because Mike Brearley was indisposed.

England lost the first game of that three-Test series, the first time in 48 years it had lost the first Test in an away series.

In the second Test, thanks to Ian Botham’s maiden Test hundred, England made a decent score in its first innings. But it took a long time to do so, and in its second innings runs were needed fast in order to declare and give the bowlers a chance to dismiss New Zealand for a second time.

In this situation, Boycott made 26 off 80 balls and consumed two hours doing so. (In the first innings he had made 8 off 31 balls). Botham went out to join him in the middle, after Derek Randall had been run out, and told his teammates that Boycott would soon be back in the pavilion.

Botham has gone on the record saying that he deliberately ran out Boycott in the interests of the team. He made a quickfire 30 and England finally declared. Bob Willis then bowled the team to victory.

Boycott’s other contributions in that series were 77 off 302 balls in the first innings of the first Test and 54 off 177 balls in the first innings of the third and final Test. Talk of a captain opening the innings and showing the team the way.

And now he is lecturing people on how they should look to the interests of the team and not bat for themselves, the perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black.


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