Sir Geoffrey Boycott, 80 not out. If the Yorkshire legend’s approach to batting is anything to go by, he won’t be celebrating his latest birthday too much today. That will only come when he turns it into a three-figure score!
Joking aside, it’s been a wonderful innings so far for the former White Rose and England opener whose career in the game has seen him excel on both sides of the boundary rope as player and pundit.
Of his 151 first-class centuries, 103 of them came in Yorkshire colours, helping the county to five Championship title successes through the 1960s.
A stubborn but classy opener with forthright views as his career took him into the media, Boycott has long been nicknamed ‘Sir Geoffrey’ given his contribution to English cricket. In September last year, a pucker knighthood came as part of PM Theresa May’s resignation honour’s list.
Boycott scored 8,114 Test runs in 108 appearances for England between 1964 and 1982, with 22 centuries and a best of 246 not out against India at Headingley in 1967.
He is intrinsically linked with Yorkshire’s Headingley home, with his greatest moment coming on home turf in August 1977 when he scored his 100th first-class hundred in an Ashes victory.
At close to 6pm on the first day, his on-driven four against Greg Chappell remains an ‘I was there’ moment.
With birthdays all about numbers, it is worth recapping some of Boycott’s stats.
Aged 22, his maiden first-class hundred came in a Roses match at Sheffield’s Bramall Lane in 1963 – his 10th first-class match and an innings victory to boot.
England never lost a Test Match when he made a century, while his 151 first-class tons in 609 matches puts him fifth on the all-time list. Another Sir, Jack Hobbs, leads the way with 199 centuries, with Patsy Hendren (170), Wally Hammond (167) and Phil Mead (153) in between.
Boycott’s one-day record was also pretty impressive – 10,095 runs in 313 appearances for county and country, including eight centuries.
He also played in the world’s first ever one-day international, between England and Australia at Melbourne in January 1971.
What is the significance of the dismissal ‘G Boycott c B Lawrie b A Thomson, 8’? It is a question which will forever grace sporting quizzes the world over.
The answer? It was the first dismissal in one-day international cricket.