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Hurt Geoffrey boycotts lunch invite

Miffed at being ignored for the ECB Ashes review panel, the ex-captain refuses the invitation as it 'insulted' him by grouping him with journalists.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2007 14:50 IST

Miffed at being ignored for the ECB Ashes review panel, former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has refused a lunch invitation from the board as it ‘insulted’ him by grouping him with journalists.

“I care about England and felt that my experience and knowledge were of value and would have happily interrupted my holiday here in South Africa to attend a review. But obviously the ECB value my experience and knowledge so much that they have grouped me with a number of ‘journalists’ who covered the Ashes tour and invited me to attend a lunch in London on February 22,” Boycott wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph.

“They might as well have not bothered to pay me lip service, because to put me in the category of a journalist and not a former player I find quite insulting and I shall not be going,” he added as he lambasted the England and Wales Cricket Board for not including him in the seven-man Ashes review panel which would investigate England’s disastrous tour Down Under.

Boycott said England’s pathetic display in the tri-nation ODI series against New Zealand and Australia, failed to surprise him as Andrew Flintoff and Co were simply not good enough.

“The biggest sadness about England’s latest humiliating defeat in Australia is that it should have surprised no one. We have come to expect it and we have become almost immune to England losing. The last time we went to Australia we couldn’t even beat Australia-A. Nothing has improved in four years. If we played Australia-A today they would wallop us,” he said.

He blamed the administrators for England’s current plight and the review panel shows that the ECB has no clue as to how the game should be run. “There is nobody on the panel who knows what winning against Australia is about. Where is Botham, Gower, Mike Gatting, Bob Willis or Geoffrey Boycott?” he pointed out.

“We are not considered good enough to be on the review team. I played in eight Ashes series and only once finished on the losing side, in 1964 my first series. I played in four winning sides — two in Australia and two in England — and three drawn series. It’s a better record than England have had against Australia in the last 18 years,” he added.

First Published: Jan 27, 2007 21:09 IST