Former England opener and noted pundit Sir Geoffrey Boycott has announced that his 14-year long spell as a commentator on BBC Radio’s Test Match Special (TMS) has come to an end.
The former England batsman was left off a list of on-air talent published by the BBC ahead of the three-match Test series at home against West Indies beginning July 8.
Boycott said he would have been interested in continuing but the coronavirus pandemic had made the decision for him following a recent quadruple heart bypass.
“I would like to thank BBC Test Match Special and BBC Sport 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,” he wrote on Twitter.
“My contract with BBC finished end of last summer. I would have loved to continue but need to be realistic and honest with myself. COVID-19 has made the decision for both of us.
“Recently I had a quadruple heart bypass and at 79, I am the wrong age to be commentating in a bio secure area trapped all day in confined spaces with the same people — even if some of those commentators I regard as friends and others I admire.”
Boycott further said he could still make the occasional appearance on the show.
“Hopefully I may still have some input BBC Test Match Special 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,” he added.
Boycott played 108 Tests for England from 1964 to 1982 in which he scored 8,114 runs and was captain on four occasions in 1978 in place of the injured Mike Brearley. He, along with Andrew Strauss, was knighted last year.