Pat Pocock

The enforcer

Telling Boycs where to get off



© Farzana Cooper

This happened at a game between Derbyshire and Yorkshire where Arthur Jepson, the former Nottinghamshire fast bowler, was one of the umpires. He was a grumpy character, but also often quite comical.

Geoffrey Boycott was batting. Now when Boycs bats, he doesn't say a word until he reaches the 40- or 50-run mark. Then he gradually talks a bit, then a bit more, and then a bit more, until in the end he is driving everyone crazy.

Boycott was going through a good phase of batting when Paul Newman, the Derbyshire quick bowler sent one that pitched outside off and nipped back in, hitting him on the pad. Newman started his shout, "Ouuu ...", only to stop midway through, realising that it was a terrible appeal. But Jepson raised his finger, saying in his broad Notts accent, "That's out, that's out".

A bewildered Boycott stood there with his hands on hips. He stared at the stumps, at the spot where it pitched, then at his knee and back to the stumps and so on. But he had to walk. Fuming, because he had been in the nineties, he started making his way back to the pavilion, saying in his Yorkshire tone, "Rubbed the hundred, rubbed the hundred", till he reached Jepson.

"How the hell did you give that out, Arthur?" he asked, unable to restrain himself. Jepson stood there with his hands behind his back, unflinching, and said: "I got rid of my bloody dog for yapping. Now I'm getting rid of you. Bugger off out of it."

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in Wisden Asia Cricket magazine