The Buzz

Pranking Geoffrey Boycott

Jonathan Agnew and his colleagues leave Geoff Boycott in a state of trepidation with a well-executed prank

Long before Sachin Tendulkar got to his 100th hundred - 35 years to be precise - Geoff Boycott got to his own milestone in front of his home crowd at Headingley in an Ashes Test. In his case, it was 100 first-class centuries, and would turn out to be his last in a career spanning 24 years. The occasion is now nearing its 40th anniversary, which the Boycott family is commemorating with a charity dinner at his house on August 11.
Boycott, currently covering the series between England and South Africa for BBC's iconic Test Match Special was wound up by his co-commentator Jonathan Agnew, who executed a well-prepared, perfectly-timed prank on the Yorkshireman.
Agnew referred to one of Boycott's 100 hundreds, in a game at The Oval against a Rest of the World side, which was demoted from a Test to a first-class game, and read off a "press release". One meticulously crafted detail led to another, and soon, Boycott was left fuming, calling it "a load of tripe" and "absolutely ridiculous".
By the end of it, Agnew and his co-commentator asked Boycott if the commemorative function on August 11 would now be cancelled, now that it was "under false pretences". When an exasperated Boycott called it a "complete mess", a hitherto straight-faced Agnew finally let out a smile, signing off with "it was also a complete wind-up, Geoffrey". That went well.