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Sir Geoffrey Boycott: Tests will always be the pinnacle

Former England batter Sir Geoffrey Boycott says The Hundred is 'fun' – but he insists the Test match arena is still the most challenging for any cricketer.

Sir Geoffrey Boycott is appearing at the Lichfield Garrick on Friday, October 29.
Sir Geoffrey Boycott is appearing at the Lichfield Garrick on Friday, October 29.

The 81-year-old featured 107 times for England in Test cricket, ending his career with an average of 48, including 22 centuries and 42 half-centuries.

And the former TMS pundit believes although cricket is evolving, the pinnacle for any player is still in the longer format of the game.

"It is not much different to T20 cricket is it," he said when asked for his thoughts on The Hundred.

"They are trying to wrap it up in Christmas paper and call it something different as a marketing tool, that is fine, I don't have a problem.

"But really it's just a 16-over match.

"It is crash bang wallop cricket.

"The Hundred is fun but Test cricket is an examination.

"A very different type of thing.

"Test cricket is an examination, it tests your character, skill, mental discipline, your technique and your talent it is a proper examination over a period of time.

"It is an examination of everything - and that is why the game has lasted so long."

England's Test side have had a difficult couple of years - including a hammering in the Ashes series down under - and losing a series in the West Indies.

But the emergence of Ben Stokes as the side's new captain and the appointment of Brendon McCullum as the coach has given the national side a lift.

And they are now playing an attacking brand of cricket which has picked up the name 'bazball'.

Boycott does not like the phrase given to England's new style, but he does like the way they are playing under Stokes - even if at times they go 'overboard' with the way they play.

He continued: "I don't think it is a good phrase or a smart phrase.

"I know Ben, and I like him a lot, and he is always a positive cricketer.

"I like that. Positive cricket is always good but with common sense.

"At the moment, we just seem to have gone overboard to attack.

"I don't think that is possible with my experience when playing against some of the best bowlers in the world.

"If you get quality bowlers with a new ball in their hand, sorry, you are not going to bash them around.

"Let's be honest, our top three for a long time have not been very good, have they?

"We are not only asking them to be positive and attack some of the best bowlers in the world with the new ball, and we haven't even got three of the best players in the world."

Yorkshire-based Boycott was speaking ahead of his live-on-stage one-night theatre shows, which are being run partly in aid of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.

The shows include anecdotes, personal film footage from an incredible career and an opportunity for the audience to ask Sir Geoffrey their own questions.

"I am looking forward to it," he said about the shows.

"We used to get big numbers, but now after covid, I am not sure what we will get.

"But if they do come they will have fun, we tell stories and anecdotes that is what it is about isn't it.

"It is like being on TMS.

"So people say they miss me.

"Well there is nothing I can do about it, but I loved it, and I loved being with Jonathon.

"We took the mickey out of each other, and we have a special bond where we gel."

The show comes to the Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford on Wednesday, October 5.

And tickets can be purchased for £27 from https://simonfielder.com/productions/an-evening-with-sir-geoffrey-boycott/

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