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Thursday, January 29, 1998 Published at 09:20 GMT


BSkyB drops Boycott
image: [ Boycott denies all the allegations made against him ]
Boycott denies all the allegations made against him

Cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott has suffered his second blow in two days with satellite broadcaster BSkyB dropping him from its commentary team for England's tour of the West Indies.

The 57-year-old former opening batsman, who played 108 Tests and captained England four times, was axed by BBC Radio on Tuesday pending the outcome of his appeal against a conviction for assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

BSkyB's decision came after consultations between production company Trans World International, producers of the live TV coverage, BSkyB, which take the live feed, and the BBC, which shows a highlights package.

Blow to TV career

"Following consultations with Sky and the BBC it has been decided that, for the time being, it would not be appropriate for Geoff Boycott to commentate on the West Indies v England test matches," said TWI's head of cricket, Simon Wheeler.

"This matter may be reviewed periodically until his legal proceedings are concluded."

A disappointed Boycott issued a terse statement on the latest blow to what had become a highly successful broadcasting career.

"The statement is correct. I do not want to say anything on this matter," he said.

"High moral tone"

Both the BBC and BSkyB reviewed their positions after Boycott was convicted and fined 50,000 francs (£5,100) in a French court for punching Margaret Moore in Antibes in October 1996.

The court convicted Boycott in his absence and also gave him a three-month suspended prison sentence.

Boycott, who became the first cricketer to score 100 first class centuries in a test match in 1977 on his home ground of Headingley, will continue to write for The Sun newspaper.

Jamaican radio station KLAS, professing to "take a high moral tone," claimed they had replaced Boycott with former England off-spinner Vic Marks. The Yorkshireman though, denies he ever agreed to work for the station.

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