England great Geoffrey Boycott has picked his all-time World XI and not a single Indian has found a place in the list – not even Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar. The legend praised the two, but clarified his heavily yesteryear choices saying that they played in much more difficult conditions.
Geoffrey Boycott, who is in India, was asked to pick his all-time best World XI at a private function in Mumbai yesterday.
The legend picked his XI but there was not a single Indian in the list. "I can't pick Indians just to please you," Boycott
Boycott pointed out that Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar played in eras where the pitches were much better to bat on and argued that when comparing between eras, the different conditions and challenges faced should take precedence over plain statistics. Boycott refused to pick even Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar but reasoned it out.
Boycott explained, "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,
WG Grace and Sir Jack Hobbs were his openers. Boycott then picked Sir Donald Bradman in the crucial No.3 position and then added West Indies' George Headley at the No.4 slot.
"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," he added.
West Indian legends Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers unsurprisingly found themselves into the list.
Boycott also talked about how recent players are disproportionately venerated in the lack of light of performances of the past.
"People pick players of today. We can't help ourselves with what we see. It's very easy to say long live the King, the King is dead. The kids growing up today may not have seen Tendulkar play. They may think was he really better than Kohli?
Boycott picked former Pakistan skipper and 1992 World Cup-winning skipper Imran Khan to lead the team because "he was strong and could handle the players".
"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.