‘It’s not a great message’ – Matthew Hoggard questions Boycott knighthood

Domestic abuse charities have said Geoffrey Boycott’s honour should be rescinded because of his domestic violence conviction.

By Press Association Published: 12 September 2019 - 11.10am

Former England fast bowler Matthew Hoggard has questioned the decision to award Sir Geoffrey Boycott a knighthood.

Boycott, who works as a broadcaster having played 108 Test matches for England, was given a three-month suspended prison sentence by a French court in 1998 following a conviction for assault against his former girlfriend Margaret Moore. He has always maintained his innocence.

Former Prime Minister Theresa May nominated the 78-year-old for a knighthood for services to sport in her resignation honours list, and Hoggard has questioned the decision.

England v Australia – Fifth Test – Day One – 2019 Ashes Series – The Kia Oval
Geoffrey Boycott has been awarded a knighthood (John Walton/PA).

“I’ve got no strong opinions, but I don’t understand how somebody can be convicted of domestic violence and get a knighthood,” Hoggard told the PA news agency while speaking at SportNation.bet’s Ashes review event in London.

“That’s a personal opinion… but without knowing the tick boxes to getting a knighthood, I don’t know. I just think it’s not a great message.”

Hoggard, a former Yorkshire stalwart like Boycott, was a member of the 2005 England side that regained the Ashes after 18 years of Australian dominance, part of a fearsome bowling attack which included Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Simon Jones.

And while Joe Root’s captaincy of the current side, who lost the chance to regain the Ashes this summer after a heavy defeat at Old Trafford, has been questioned, Hoggard believes there is no reason to query his fellow Yorkshireman’s leadership.

England v Australia – Fourth Test – Day Four – 2019 Ashes Series – Emirates Old Trafford
Joe Root’s England have struggled against Australia in the Ashes (Mike Egerton/PA).

“What has he done wrong?” said Hoggard. “We haven’t questioned his field placements, we haven’t questioned his bowling rotation, we haven’t questioned anything except for the amount of runs he’s scored, so why on earth are we questioning his captaincy now?”

England are facing Australia in the fifth and final Test at the Oval this week with a chance to salvage a 2-2 series draw against the tourists, who have retained the Ashes regardless courtesy of being the holders.

Hoggard added: “We knew at the start of this series it was going to be close. All the Test matches that we’ve played, if it hadn’t been for Steve Smith scoring that amount of runs the Australians would be in a very bad position.

“If we draw the series 2-2… is that such a bad result? He’s not scored the amount of runs he’s wanted but everybody’s allowed a dip in form, so I don’t understand why we’re now suddenly questioning his captaincy.”