Pringle: Boy­cott is on a sticky wicket

The Cricket Paper - - FRONT PAGE -

AS A bats­man, Ge­of­frey Boy­cott prided him­self on a stout de­fence.Yet even he has ac­knowl­edged that the straight­est bat can­not de­flect the crit­i­cism com­ing his way fol­low­ing his crass re­marks about race and knight­hoods.

Boy­cott made the re­marks while at­tend­ing a Q&A dur­ing the Edg­bas­ton Test. Mak­ing a com­ment about knight­hoods in cricket, Boy­cott said he’d be more likely to re­ceive the hon­our if he “blacked his face” – a quip pre­sum­ably aimed at Sir Vi­vian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Curtly Am­brose, three former West Indies crick­eters en­no­bled for their stel­lar ca­reers in the game.

Although an at­tempt at polemic hu­mour, the claim has of­fended many with its racism. As a re­sult, Boy­cott has apol­o­gised “un­re­servedly” for his re­marks, adding that they were un­ac­cept­able and that he “loves West Indies cricket” and has “noth­ing but the ut­most re­spect for their play­ers”.

A con­tro­ver­sial­ist of long­stand­ing, Boy­cott is not stupid, though there is a wor­ry­ing ig­no­rance to his com­ment. Richards, Roberts and Am­brose were all knighted by An­tigua, be­ing cit­i­zens of that coun­try, for their “dis­tin­guished and out­stand­ing ser­vice to An­tigua and Bar­buda”.

It is not a knight­hood that can be claimed in Bri­tain which is be­stowed by the Queen, an hon­our which Boy­cott, al­ready un­of­fi­cially Sir Ge­of­frey in parts of South York­shire, claimed he has twice been re­fused fol­low­ing sep­a­rate ap­pli­ca­tions.

Per­haps, on re­flec­tion, he might have said that he’d have stood a bet­ter chance of be­com­ing a knight if he’d swapped his Bri­tish pass­port for an An­tiguan one. It would still have been in poor taste but that way he’d only have in­curred the wrath of three proud men who would, pre­sum­ably, then have served jus­tice their way.

Still, a fright­en­ing prospect if you know them.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.