New Delhi, De 16: Former England skipper Geoffrey Boycott has named his all time best World XI, surprisingly no Indian cricketer has found a place in his team. The legendary England cricketer feels no Indian, not even, cricketing greats Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar found a mention in Boycott’s all time World XI.
When asked to pick his all-time best World XI, while addressing media persons in Mumbai, Boycott said no Indian could make it to his assessment.
“I can’t pick Indians just to please you,” 76-year-old Boycott told the audience.
Boycott picked legendary WG Grace and Sir Jack Hobbs as the openers of his team while Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers found a place in the middle order. “I can’t get in the team myself. Gavaskar was a wonderful player and friend. Can I pick him ahead of Grace and 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,” he explained.
He also picked Sir Donald Bradman and West Indian George Headley in his world XI. “George Headley may have played only 20 something games but they called him ‘the black Bradman’. He played at a time when West Indies were not doing well,” he said. “You have to look at the relativity of the players of that era. Look at Bradman he was twice as good as me,” Boycott added.
As per Boycott, former Pakistan all-rounder and World Cup winning captain Imran Khan would be the captain of his side because “he was strong and could handle the players”.
Boycott has played 108 Tests for England and aggregated 8,114 runs at an average of 47.72. 248* was his highest in Tests. “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,” he added.
Boycott’s best world XI mostly features yesteryear greats who played before the era of Gavaskars and Tendulkars.