DateLine: 18th November 2009
Question: What are your thoughts on Younus Khan, who of course played for Yorkshire?
Geoff Boycott: He's one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. A smashing lad who is genuinely pleased when his team mates do well.
I brought him to Yorkshire and recommended him to the Board. When Younus arrived at Yorkshire, the Board members turned round and said to me "Geoffrey thats the best thing you have ever done".
Question: Why is Pakistan cricket riddled with controversies, turmoil and politics?
Geoff Boycott: Sadly its the nature of the beast. Pakistan as a cricketing nation is steeped in history and has produced some wonderfully gifted cricketers over the years. However there are far too many politicians who know nothing about cricket who are interfering in cricketing affairs. Look at the recent case of Younus' resignation and the match fixing allegations against him. Why don't these people accept that cricketers are humans and that they cant play brilliantly all of the time and win every match.
Also there are a number of ex Pakistani players who have their own agendas who are making unecessary and ridiculous staments out there. Those statements as far as I am concerned are for their own end and dont help the current players at all.
Question: What did you think of the recent match fixing allegations against Younus Khan?
Geoff Boycott: Younus is an honorable man and just because match fixing has occurred in the past, it doesnt mean that players are into match fixing in the modern day. Younus lives by a moral code and it was wrong that those accusations were made against him.
Question: Do you think the PCB did the right thing by not accepting Younus' resignation as skipper?
Geoff Boycott: Absolutely, they did the right thing, no doubt about it.
Question: Why do you think Pakistan have been unable to find a solid opening batting partnership since the days of Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail?
Geoff Boycott: Pakistani pitches are far too much in favour of the batsman. There has to be in future some sort of balance and equality between bat and ball, otherwise Pakistan will continue to produce batsmen who can't score runs away from the sub continent. The wickets are too flat and too true.
Those in authority in Pakistan need to address the situation, because at the moment as far as I can see, you can just plant your front foot down the track and score runs with a stick of rhubarb. As a batsman you don't have to think too much about your batting, you are not tested technically and you dont have to concentrate too hard to score freely on those wickets. The issue here is that it's difficult to adapt to other types of wickets when you have been brought up on such flat tracks.
The plan is simple, you see off a few overs from the new ball and you are set. Then you can just counter the bowling by planting your front foot down the track and playing almost everything off the front foot with ease. I would say that my mother could score runs out there.
Question: What are your opinions of Shahid Afridi?
Geoff Boycott: Afridi is fantastic, I love watching him play the game of cricket. He's great for the game, he's an entertainer and I think he is currently the best bowling all rounder in the world when it comes to one day cricket.
Batsman are ok when they are blocking his bowling, but when they try to attack him and try to score runs off him, that is entirely a different matter. There are a lot of batsmen out there who cannot pick his bowling and I think he's an excellent wrist spinner.
Question: And what about Afridi's batting?
Geoff Boycott: (Laughs) That is an entirely different matter to his bowling. I feel that he can't concentrate for more than 3 deliveries and if he hasn't scored off 2 deliveries you know that something interesting is about to happen on that third delivery.
Question: What are your opinions regarding Twenty/20 cricket ?
Geoff Boycott: Its a fun and exciting form of the game and the public loves it. My fear though is that cricket boards around the world dont overkill this form of the game. You have to hand the BCCI a lot of credit for introducing the IPL, but there are a number of cricket boards now jumping onto the bandwagon.
You can get too much of a good thing. I like steak and kidney pie, but if my wife gives me the same thing every day, I'd be ready to throw it at her after a few days.
Question: You were brought into the Pakistan setup as a batting consultant. How did that role come about?
Geoff Boycott: I was contacted by the General.
Question: The General, being General Tauqir Zia ?
Geoff Boycott: Yes that's the one. Wonderful man was the general, told me exactly what he wanted me to work on and work with.
Question: What did the General, I mean Tauqir Zia want you to concentrate on?
Geoff Boycott: He wanted me to work with the up and coming players, rather than the lads that were playing international cricket. He wanted me to look at the younger boys coming through the ranks and to see where they could improve.
Question: Which of the younger players that you worked with in Pakistan impressed you the most?
Geoff Boycott: The talent that I saw was amazing. The hand/eye coordination of some of those boys was incredible. The batting was very impressive and I advised them on a number of things especially their defensive technique.
The 2 youngsters that really impressed me during my time in Pakistan, at that time were the leg spinner Danish Kaneria and the batsman Salman Butt. I could see that they had the talent there to become top class cricketers.
Question: Were you asked to go back to Pakistan to work with any other players after the initial stint?
Geoff Boycott: Regimes seem to come and go in Pakistan, and after the General was replaced, I never heard from the PCB again.
Question: On behalf of all the members of PakPassion, I'd like to thank for your time today Geoff.
Geoff Boycott: My pleasure.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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