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Geoffrey Boycott, victim of hilarious on-air prank over his 100th century

Geoffrey Boycott, the former England captain who has smashed 100 centuries in his cricket career, was a victim of a prank when he was told his career aggregate of First-Class centuries will be reduced to 99 from 100, which left him shocked.

cricket Updated: Aug 01, 2017 15:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
England vs South Africa,Geoffrey Boycott,England cricket team
Geoffrey Boycott was a victim of a hilarious on-air prank in which Jonathan Agnew, a BBC TMS commentator read out a release in which the records of the 1970 series between England and Rest of the World, in which Boycott scored a century would be annulled.(BBC TMS Facebook)

Geoffrey Boycott, England cricket legend, had faced many challenges during his illustrated cricketing career. However, during the recently-concluded third Test between England and South Africa at The Oval, Boycott faced a bouncer to which he was completely floored. The incident happened when he was on the commentary stint for BBC’s Test Match Special with fellow commentator Jonathan Agnew, who started reading an ICC release in serious fashion.

Boycott, a prominent commentator and a respected cricket voice for several generations, was left shocked over the release read by Agnew, according to which the ICC was set to invalidate the statistics from the England versus Rest of the World series in 1970.

The release meant Boycott would have been stripped off one First-Class century, which would bring down his overall tally to 99 centuries in his career.

Boycott looked at the release keenly as Agnew began reading it on air. “Further to the recent request from the South African government, the ICC has now considered the question of downgrading all statistics including runs and wickets in the series played England and the Rest of the World in 1970. All records will be removed from first-class status,” he read.

The nervousness, shock and a bit of anger seen on Boycott’s face could be noticed via the hidden camera, more so since he has planned a celebratory dinner with as many as 180 guests to celebrate 40 years of his century against Australia at Headingley — an innings of 191 that had helped England seal the Ashes that year and one that is very close to his heart.

Agnew said, “You’ll have to cancel it. You’ve invited people under false pretences.” He continued with the prank, asking the BBC statistician whether the effects of the release have been carried out or not. “They’re gone, we’ll have to take them out,” he said.

Boycott had described that century as “the most memorable moment of my life”, according to

By now, Boycott was obviously riled up. A commentator known for his hard opinions and views, responded by saying, “”That’s ridiculous. That’s a load of tripe”

“That’s just silly isn’t it? First-class umpires, first-class players, some of the best players in the world were playing. That Rest of the World team was a fantastic team,” he continued. “It’s a mess, a complete mess,” Boycott exclaimed.

This was the moment when Agnew determined that the prank was completed 100 per cent. He got up immediately, bursting in a laugh along with others by saying, “It’s also a complete wind-up, Geoffrey.”

Boycott was obviously taken aback. Already shocked, all he could react with was, “Is that right? You muppet! Is that right? I’ll get you for that!”

Later on, the former cricketer vowed to get back to Agnew for what he had done.

First Published: Aug 01, 2017 14:11 IST