The name Geoffrey Boycott rings a lot of bells in people’s minds, depending on their age group. Those who are in the age group of 30-40 would remember him as an avid and a brilliant commentator, with a distinguished Yorkshire accent and the comparisons of bowlers or batsmen, often with his mum.
If the people of this age group are specifically from India, then they would know him as the biggest fan of ‘Dada’ Sourav Ganguly and also the one who gave him the title of ‘Prince of Kolkata’. Well if you belong to this generation too, all I can say is you just know the tip of the iceberg, as far as Sir Geoffrey Boycott is concerned.
Now the generation that was in its heyday in the 70s would tell you what a phenomenon Geoff Boycott was in test matches at that time. He played professional cricket from 1962 to 1986 out of which his career for England was a good long 18 years (1964-1982).
He was the best test batsman of his generation and by far. Though other greats like Sunil Gavaskar did arrive in the 70s but Geoff Boycott had a place of his own.
He was a test specialist in the truest of sense. He was that traditional test batsman who would not touch the ball outside the off stump for days, no matter what and bat for long periods of time to accumulate runs without playing the ball in the air or any other false strokes.
He was cut out to play test cricket and could do nothing else. In fact he was completely out of place when played the limited overs format. By the time he retired from international cricket he had amassed more than 8000 test runs (the highest at that time). And when he hung up his boots from county cricket as well, he finished as the highest run getter in first class cricket.
If his stint as an opening batsman was a super show, his new role as a cricket commentator was no less. His banter with Sunny Gavaskar was the highlight in commentary box and then statements like “even my mum could hit this ball for a boundary” to state that the bowler bowled a poor delivery was unmatchable.
Here’s wishing a very happy birthday to the great Sir Geoffrey Boycott. Well, even my mum could wish him like that.