Boycott Call

V. V. KRISHNAN

Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott has called for a ban on syndicated newspaper columns written by current cricketers as the write-ups give them a chance to “spill the beans on what goes on in the dressing room.”

Boycott said there should be a strict policy on the matter as they earn enough and do not need to write such columns for dailies.

“Today’s players earn far more than my generation ever dreamed of. I am delighted for them — it is right that they should be well remunerated. In cricket, the top players’ contracts start at £350,000, and that’s before all the sponsorship deals and endorsements; they don’t really need the extra cash that comes with a ghosted autobiography or newspaper column,” he added.

Boycott felt even coaches should not be allowed to write memoirs of their stint before a time lapse of at least two years from quitting the job.

“Who benefits from these hostile exchanges? All they do is create bitterness and conflict, making it twice as hard to achieve a unified team spirit,” he said, referring to Duncan Fletcher’s revelations about Andrew Flintoff’s drinking habits in his autobiography.

Boycott, who has already called Fletcher a “hypocrite” and a “sour man”, said the former England coach and the rest of his ilk have done nothing more but tarnish the game with their money-spinning memoirs.

“The authors of all these shameless cash-ins owe sport a hell of a lot; it is sad to see them tarnishing its name,” he said.