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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Geoff Boycott saddened - assaulting a former love impedes 'knighting'

What will happen when in a fit of rage, one slaps one’s partner ?

Knighthood ~ a great honour in UK comes from the English word ‘knight’.  A knighthood (or a damehood, its female equivalent) is one of the highest honours an individual in the United Kingdom can achieve. While in past centuries knighthood used to be awarded solely for military merit, today it recognises significant contributions to national life.  Recipients today range from actors to scientists, and from school head teachers to industrialists.  Donald Bradman, Len Hutton, Weekes, Gary Sobers, Vivian Richards, Richard Hadlee, Ian Botham – are some of the Test Cricketers who have been knighted.

Sachin Tendulkar is the man with the highest aggregate runs in Test Cricket.  The run to top started with Charles Bannerman who with 239 topped the list for a while; then naturally he was taken over by others which included Billy Murdoch, Joe Darling, Clem Hill, Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond, Colin Cowdrey, and then Garfield Sobers with 8032 runs.  At that point of time, scoring 8000 runs in Test Cricket was considered Himalayan achievement.  Geoff Boycott broke that and in a Test at Delhi and  went on to play Golf without caring to be with the team. In 1987, the little Master’s [Sunil Gavaskar] nudge took him past 10000 runs which was remarkable achievement those days; he ended up with 10122 and was overtaken by Allan Border, then Brian Lara – now Sachin is at the pinnacle of glory with 15921  runs. 

This is not about the runs made, nor about the way they were accumulated. Some on top had best defence – attached a price to their wicket and could play quality pace on a green top.  Geoff Boycott too had a sound defence.  Now there is news that he is sad at being denied knighthood because of attack on girlfriend and the Cricket legend attacks French judges who convicted him of 'something he didn't do'.  MailOnline and host of British papers report that an  attempt to knight Geoffrey Boycott was blocked by the Cabinet Office. The 74 year old opener who later turned a critic commentator was convicted of hitting his former lover Margaret Moore in 1996. Boycott has always denied punching Ms Moore and says she slipped over

Geoffrey Boycott says he is saddened that a conviction for assaulting a former lover has apparently stopped him being awarded a knighthood, claiming he is being blocked by 'something he didn't do'.   The man from Yorkshire criticised the French courts amid reports that his conviction against a former lover had scuppered plans for him to be honoured. A group of cricket-loving MPs, including Theresa May, had led a campaign to see the batsman named Sir Geoffrey; but the bid to honour was vetoed by the Cabinet Office officials, reportedly due to Boycott's conviction, which dates back 18 years.

Writing to his 57,000 Twitter followers, he said: 'I'm delighted that so many people thought I deserved a knighthood and sad that it can be blocked for something I didn't do' and has to live with that. He added, 'I tried to clear my name in France but under Napoleonic law once accused you are guilty until you can definitively prove your innocence. This is the opposite of English Law. I have to live with this injustice - and I do.

The batsman had received a three-month suspended sentence and £5,300 fine from a French court in 1996 for pinning down Margaret Moore and punching her in the face.  The former England captain fought a costly two-year-legal battle to clear his name after his initial conviction at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes. He and Ms Moore had spent the evening together drinking champagne with the American singer, Billy Joel, before she said he hit her 20 times during an argument. Boycott denies ever hitting Ms Moore, insisting that she slipped and injured herself after flying into a rage when he told her he was 'not the marrying kind'.

According to Whitehall guidelines, a criminal record should not in itself prevent a person from being considered for a knighthood as long as there is no 'outstanding issue'. Critics have complained loudly that such a conviction should not be an automatic bar to an honour. But a Whitehall official thought otherwise, vetoing cross-party efforts to have Boycott's name sent to the Palace.

Geoff Boycott many a times faced off the challenge of new red cherry, accumulating runs – but would well remember that one dreaded over at the land of Caribbean in 1981 when Whispering Death mowed him down.  All along Boycott had prided himself to be the occupier of the crease and an impediment – in a single over struck his ego and shook him  – Michael Holding demolished him – the first 5 balls, Boycott had no clue at all and purists doubted  whether he was wielding a bat or a mere stick.  The sixth sent his off stump cart-wheeling a good 20 yards behind the crease and Boycott trudged back without troubling the scorers. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

7th Jan 2015.

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