Mumbai: In what could be big shock to Indian cricket fans, Geoffrey Boycott did not pick any Indian cricketer in his all-time playing XI.
The former England opener, who is currently in India on commentary duties for the five-match Test series between Virat Kohli-led India and Alastair Cook's England side, is fond of Sourav Ganguly and calls Sunil Gasvaskar his "friend". However, those considerations did not come into play as he picked his team
“I can't pick Indians just to please you. I can't get into the team myself. Gavaskar was a wonderful player and friend. Can I pick him ahead of (WG) Grace and (Jack) Hobbs? Grace's numbers would look rubbish with 30 something. But you can't compare with today where wickets are wonderfully prepared. Back then, pitches were full of stones. They would have to wait till 2 pm to make the pitch dry. Today, they would get mad if they are given wet wickets,” Boycott was quoted as saying by India Today.
Boycott also ridiculed ICC and termed their dream XI as biased. The ICC team has four Indians in the side – Virender Sehwag, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev – along side the likes of Sir Don Bradman, Brian Lara, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath and Curtly Ambrose.
“Kapil Dev was a wonderful bowler. So, was Ian Botham. But, I can't put them ahead of Sobers. If you want me to be nice because I am in India, I would pick five Indians but that's not me,” Boycott added.
While Boycott picked former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan to lead his side, he included the likes of West Indian George Headley, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs, WG Grace.