Love or loathe Geoffrey Boycott, the man at least never fails to make an impression. His new book, Geoffrey Boycott on Cricket
, chronicles his side of the scrapes resulting from his uncompromising manner. Fred Trueman? "He saved his energies for anti-Boycott outbursts. He must have been jealous of my popularity." Ray Illingworth--"As Yorkshire manager his interest was purely in operating as a dictator." Brian Close--"He made lots of wrong assumptions about me. There was an underlying threat of violence." He refers to THAT woman Margaret Moore early on in the book, but only in the contest of criticising Sir Len Hutton's son for airing his views on the French court case in a cricket editorial. He fell out with Henry Blofeld--it's a wonder they ever got along--for refusing to give an affidavit in Boycott's defence after saying he would do. Ian Botham, the International Cricket Council, even the mighty Sun
newspaper: none is too great to be spared Boycott's wrath. The one inconsistency was his opposition to the mercenary Packer rebels in 1977, set against his own willingness to tour South Africa for "purely financial reasons" five years later. But you only had to listen to Boycott the pundit and commentator to know he speaks sense when it comes to cricket and his love of the game shines through. "I would exchange the rest of my life for five more years of playing for Yorkshire and England." If only the current crop shared his hunger.