Geoffrey Boycott

(b. 1940) English cricketer

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(1940– )

Yorkshire and England cricketer, one of the world's greatest run-makers and among the most technically correct of defensive batsmen. There was considerable controversy in his career, during which he lost the captaincy of his county and was banned as a test player in 1982 for taking part in matches in South Africa.

Born in the mining village of Fitzwilliam in Yorkshire, he worked for the Ministry of Pensions before becoming a county cricketer. His first game for Yorkshire was in 1962 when he was twenty-two, and two years later he was selected for England. As an opening batsman, his self-discipline and powers of concentration were unequalled in first-class cricket. Such an approach was at times seen as an excessively selfish attitude and he was never especially popular among other players or outside his native county. In Yorkshire itself, despite public reprimands and an uneasy relationship with the county (in 1983 he was reported and warned about the time he took to score his runs against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham), he continues to command remarkable loyalty from a strong faction of the club's supporters; he has been a member of the General Committee of the club since 1984.

Boycott captained Yorkshire from 1971 to 1978 but failed to obtain the captaincy of England, his great ambition. In 1977 he scored his hundredth first-class hundred at Headingley against the Australians; by the time he retired as a player in 1986, he had scored 150 centuries in first-class cricket. He has since worked as a cricket commentator. His many publications on cricket include Master Class (1982) and Boycott, The Autobiography (1987).

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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