Player: England (1964-1982)
A stalwart of England’s batting for nearly 20 years, Geoff Boycott was the first English batsmen to pass 8,000 test runs. Alongside Colin Cowdrey and Wally Hammond he sat at the top of the list of English century makers with 22 until passed by Alastair Cook in 2012.
Boycott’s value to the England team was such that it did not lose a Test Match when he scored a century and lost only 20 of the 108 he played in. Although the long form of the game was where he found most success, he did make history in one day cricket when he became the first person to face a ball, and be out, in One Day Internationals.
Boycott made his debut for Yorkshire in 1962, aged 21, and represented the white rose county for 25 years, scoring 48,426 first-class runs at an average of 56.83 including 151 centuries. His most famous of all was his 100th hundred against Australia in front of his home crowd at Headingley in 1977, when he became the first cricketer to score his 100th first-class century in a Test Match. He was on the field for the entire Test Match. Twice he averaged in excess of 100 for the English first-class season – 100.12 in 1971 and 102.53 in 1979, a feat only achieved by one other man, Mark Ramprakash.
He became the first cricketer to score his 100th first-class century in a Test Match
He was awarded an OBE for services to cricket in 1980.
Since retiring, Boycott has become an influential media figure, commentating on Test Match Special, talkSPORT, Channel Five and Ten Sports and being a regular contributor to both Cricinfo and the Daily Telegraph.
He has also written several books on cricket including Boycott’s Best XI and most recently Play Cricket the Right Way.
In 2005 Boycott gave the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s where he urged cricket to adapt to the faster pace of modern life, recommending four-day Test Matches, stricter over rates, using floodlights for day/night Tests and the introduction of a Twenty20 World Cup.
He was one of 55 initial inductees into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009.