The honour has been given because he was one of the best opening batsmen the world of cricket has ever seen. Don’t forget this man opened for England in the days when Australia and the West Indies had the most lethal bowling line ups ever. And he stood there without helmets and all the safety equipment and padding players wear today. Australian batsman Steve Smith had to miss 10 days of cricket as a precaution because he was hit on the helmet in the third test match recently. Geoff used to get hit and carry on batting in his day and no one batted [sic] an eyelid.
Speaking on the Today Programme on Radio 4 this morning, Geoff, now a celebrated cricketing pundit, was confronted about the conviction. As presenter Martha Kearney began to quote Adina Claire, the co-acting chief executive of Women’s Aid, the former England cricket captain said: “I don’t give a toss about her, love. So you can take your political nature and do whatever you want with it. I couldn’t give a toss.”
Boycs was commenting after Ms Claire said: “Celebrating a man who was convicted for assaulting his partner sends a dangerous message that domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime. With increasing awareness of domestic abuse, and a Domestic Abuse Bill ready to be taken forward by Government, it is extremely disappointing that a knighthood has been recommended for Geoffrey Boycott, who is a convicted perpetrator of domestic abuse.”
Later in the interview Geoff implied that he backed Brexit because his conviction was in a French court. He stated: “It was 25 years ago love, in a French court, she tried to blackmail me for £1m. I said no. It’s a court case in France where… you’re guilty. It’s one reason I don’t vote to remain in Europe is you’re guilty until you’re proved innocent. That’s totally the opposite from England. It’s very difficult to prove you’re innocent.”
Boycott is still employed by the BBC as a cricket pundit. Despite the conviction, Sir Geoffrey has always denied assaulting Ms Moore, accusing her of putting a “stain on my name”. At his trial, public prosecutor Jean-Yves Duval rejected that claim, saying the injuries were “absolutely incompatible” with an accident.
In 2017 Boycott triggered racism claims after suggesting he would be more likely to be given a knighthood if he “blacked up”, claiming knighthoods were given to West Indian cricketers “like confetti”. He made the controversial remarks during a question and answer session following a Test match between England and the West Indies at Edgbaston.
“Mine’s been turned down twice,” Boycott told host Gary Newbon. “I’d better black me face.”
Edgbaston’s Labour MP Preet Gill said of his rant: “Let’s call it what it is, it’s irresponsible, it smacks of racism.” Boycott later apologised, saying: “Speaking at an informal gathering I was asked a question and I realise my answer was unacceptable. I meant no offence but what I said was clearly wrong and I apologise unreservedly. I have loved West Indian cricket my whole life and have the utmost respect for its players.”
Here at Jammy Toast though we would suggest there is some truth in what Boycs said. How many of the West Indian players from the 1970s and 80s have been knighted compared to England players. The answer is Eleven West Indian cricketers have been knighted so far and that includes cricket greats like Curtly Ambrose, Garfield Sobers and Viv Richards. In modern times there has only been one English cricketer knighted and that is Alastair Cook – Ian Botham was knighted for services to charity and not for his cricketing exploits.
Boycott played 108 Test matches for England and scored 151 first-class centuries. He has worked as a commentator for the BBC’s Test Match Special since 2004 and Mrs May is one of his greatest fans. The former Prime Minister repeatedly gushed about his style – which included enraging teammates with his slow scoring rate and sometimes running them out.
“I have been a Geoff Boycott fan all my life,” she beamed previously. “It was just that he kind of solidly got on with what he was doing. He just stuck in there and got on with the job that was the great thing… he had a plan and he got on with it, and more often than not delivered.”
Arise Sir Geoffrey.