- Boycott will not be part of commentary team this summer
- Former opener endorses Twitter comment criticising BBC
Geoffrey Boycott has confirmed his 14-year spell on Test Match Special is over, as revealed in the Guardian on Thursday.
And despite hinting that he would like to continue with TMS, the former England opener also went out in typically fiery style, aiming a dig at the BBC.
Responding to the story confirming that Boycott’s TMS innings had come to an end, a Twitter contributor wrote: “White, male, straight, tory and knows about cricket. Surprised he lasted this long at the BBC.”
Boycott retweeted the comment, adding: “Absolutely right”, before later deleting it.
The 79-year-old then returned to Twitter to confirm that he would not be involved in commentating on England’s series against West Indies and Pakistan, pointing out that he recently underwent a quadruple heart bypass and that the bio-secure arrangements for this summer’s Test matches were not the right environment for him at this stage of his life.
Writing on social media, Boycott said: “I would like to thank bbctms BBCSport for a wonderful 14 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and just love cricket with a passion. I also wish to thank all those that have said how much they have enjoyed my commentary and for those that haven’t – too bad.
“My contract with BBC finished end of last summer. I would loved to continue but need to be realistic & honest with myself. Covid-19 has made the decision for both of us.”
Boycott added that he was the “wrong age” to be working in confined spaces due to social distancing regulations.
The former Yorkshire batsman, who was knighted last year, has been a regular on TMS since 2005, having lost previous commentary roles with both the BBC and Sky Sports following a 1998 conviction in a French court for assaulting his then-girlfriend Margaret Moore.
Though his contract is now over, Boycott hinted he could still make the occasional appearance on the airwaves in the future. Referring to his long-time colleague Jonathan Agnew, he wrote: “Hopefully I may still have some input bbctms if that tall lanky ex Leicestershire medium pace bowler needs an honest appraisal or wants to take the mickey out of me maybe he will give me a call while on air To everyone out there Be sensible Stay alive Your life is precious.”
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, paid tribute to Boycott. She said: “Geoffrey has been an iconic voice in our Test Match Special box for 14 years.
“While we wish the circumstances were different, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for his contribution to our cricket commentary over the years and we’re still hoping to hear his unique cricketing insight at some point on TMS this summer.”