Geoffrey Boycott

Sir Geoffrey Boycott OBE (born 21 October 1940) is a retired Test cricketer, who played cricket for Yorkshire and England. In a prolific and sometimes controversial playing career from 1962 to 1986, Boycott established himself as one of England's most successful opening batsmen.[3] After retiring as a player, he pursued a successful career as a cricket commentator, before retiring in 2020 and was knighted in 2019.

Geoffrey Boycott
Watercolour artwork of Geoffrey Boycott
Personal information
Born (1940-10-21) 21 October 1940 (age 80)
Fitzwilliam, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
  • Boycs
  • Fiery
  • GLY (Greatest Living Yorkshireman)
  • Sir Geoffrey[1]
  • Thatch[2]
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
BowlingRight-arm medium
RoleOpening batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 422)4 June 1964 v Australia
Last Test1 January 1982 v India
ODI debut (cap 1)5 January 1971 v Australia
Last ODI20 December 1981 v India
Domestic team information
1971/72Northern Transvaal
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 108 36 609 313
Runs scored 8,114 1,082 48,426 10,095
Batting average 47.72 36.06 56.83 39.12
100s/50s 22/42 1/9 151/238 8/74
Top score 246* 105 261* 146
Balls bowled 944 168 3,685 1,975
Wickets 7 5 45 30
Bowling average 54.57 21.00 32.42 40.26
5 wickets in innings 0 0 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 3/47 2/14 4/14 3/15
Catches/stumpings 33/– 5/– 264/– 99/–
Source: CricketArchive, 7 December 2008

Boycott made his international debut in a 1964 Test match against Australia.[4][5] He was known for his ability to occupy the crease and became a key feature of England's Test batting line-up for many years, although he was less successful in his limited One Day International (ODI) appearances.[6] He accumulated large scores – he is the equal fifth-highest accumulator of first-class centuries in history, eighth in career runs and the first English player to average over 100 in a season (1971 and 1979) – but often encountered friction with his teammates.[4][7][8]

Never the most popular of players among his peers, journalist Ian Wooldridge commented that "Boycott, in short, walks alone",[9] while cricket writer John Arlott wrote that Boycott had a "lonely" career.[10] Others, however, have stated that the extent of his introverted and anti-social nature has been exaggerated, and that while he was "obsessed with his own success" he was not by nature a selfish player.[11] After 108 Test match appearances for England, Boycott's international career ended in 1982 when he was the leading Test run scorer with over 8,000 Test match runs,[12] earning him an OBE for services to cricket.[4][13] When dropped from the Yorkshire team in 1986 he was the leading run scorer in first-class cricket. In 1965, while still a young player, he had been named as one of five Cricketers of the Year by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, and he was inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame in 2009.[14]

After his playing career ended, Boycott became an often outspoken and controversial cricket commentator on both radio and television, never slow to criticise modern players' techniques. In 1998, he was convicted in France of assaulting his former girlfriend Margaret Moore; he was fined and given a suspended sentence. In 2002, after being diagnosed with throat cancer, he underwent successful radiation treatment, and went into remission. He revived his commentating career in 2003, and continues to attract a mixture of both criticism and praise. He is a former member of BBC Radio 4 Test Match Special commentary team, retiring in 2020. Boycott was President of Yorkshire County Cricket Club between March 2012 and March 2014.