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Geoffrey Boycott could end TMS career after BBC omit 79-year-old from lineup | Sport


Geoffrey Boycott appears to have commentated on his last match for BBC Test Match Special after the corporation announced its lineup of on-air talent for the summer and omitted the former England batsman.

The evening Test highlights show on terrestrial television returns to BBC Two this year as part of English cricket’s new broadcast deal until 2024, with Isa Guha named as lead presenter and Alastair Cook among the pundits.

Boycott was absent from the list of TMS commentators for 2020 and, aged 79, would have been unlikely to work on England’s Test series against West Indies and Pakistan because of Covid‑19. But sources suggest that while the former Yorkshire batsman may yet appear as a guest on an ad hoc basis, there were already plans to move him out of the commentary box before the pandemic struck.

A BBC spokesperson said: “Due to the current situation, Geoffrey is not part of the commentary team for the [West Indies] series. However, we are monitoring the situation closely and we hope to look forward to him making an appearance on TMS this summer.”

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The former Yorkshire opener, who was knighted last year in Theresa May’s resignation honours list, has been part of the TMS commentary team since 2005, having previously been let go in 1998 following his conviction in a French court for assaulting his then girlfriend Margaret Moore.

England’s fixtures will be staged behind closed doors this summer but it remains a big year for the BBC’s cricket coverage, with Guha, the former England women’s seamer who already commentates for TMS, becoming the new face of the evening highlights after its switch from Channel 5.

Guha was also due to work on the Hundred, the live coverage of which is being shared with Sky Sports under a five-year deal worth £1.1bn to English cricket, but the controversial new tournament has been postponed until 2021 because of ongoing pandemic.

Cook, who has done radio stints with the BBC since retiring from international cricket in 2018, will join Guha on the 7pm nightly show, with Carlos Brathwaite, the West Indies international, also on board for the first summer series that begins at the Ageas Bowl on 8 July.

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