IF commentators and pundits are supposed to abide by the spirit of cricket, then Geoffrey Boycott is pushing the boundaries. On some occasions, he is clearing them and smacking the ball straight into the stands.

But as the former Yorkshire and England batsman prepares to head down under and commentate on another Ashes series, he shows no signs of slowing down – or restrain his controversial views – at the age of 77.

“Everyone keeps asking when are you going to retire, but I’ll be bored,” he says. “I don’t want to do nothing – I might as well do something till the end.”

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As he chatted with me on the telephone from his Yorkshire home, he remained outspoken and passionate about the game he loves. “We have stopped teaching kids at school about cricket – the only thing that matters for them is T20.

“I love good cricket – that doesn’t mean fours and sixes, it means interesting cricket – the ebbs and flows and the bowler trying to get the batsman out.”

The game has undoubtedly changed a lot since Boycott made his Test debut against Australia in 1964.

His maiden Test hundred (113), scored in his fourth Test at The Oval in the same year, was achieved off 311 delivers – a strike rate of well below 40 and a distant memory for today’s power players.

“T20 is a form, which is fine, but the thinking in the game is gone – it was like chess.

“It is not all crash, bang, wallop – you need good mental strength, physical courage and technique, where as in T20 you just need power.”

Those modern players will perhaps associate Boycott more with his commentary role than his playing days. His voice has been the soundtrack to all of England’s modern success stories, including the 2005 Ashes, the series win in Australia in 2011, and their ascent to the top of the Test rankings a few months later after a 4-0 home win over India.

But Boycott is concerned about how many more of these glory days there will be.

“Less people are playing cricket – it is lost at school and clubs are going out of business. It isn’t just one thing to solve the problem – no one can wave a magic wand around.”

But he does have some ideas.

“First of all, Test matches should be on free to air TV. Many families can’t afford it (Sky TV) – so if they can’t afford it, they can’t see it. Great sportsmen come from humble beginnings – it is poor families that produce great players, not rich kids.

“The ECB should be going into schools and county cricketers should be coaching and getting more people playing.” And as always, Boycott has some even more revolutionary ideas.

“They should change the school holidays – most mothers and fathers can only have two or three weeks off at a time anyway. It cuts into the cricket season, so kids stop playing cricket in July. It is good for kids to play all sports – not just cricket – all summer sports like tennis, and then they should use the winter for exams.

“It has to be what is best for kids and cricket, if there are not more kids loving cricket, the game is dead. They can take all the money they want, but they won’t have bums on seats and the stadiums will be empty.”

CRICKET lovers will have the chance to share their views with Boycott when he hosts An Evening With in Yarm, near Stockton, this week.

“I have got video of my first test hundred, my 100th hundred at Headingley, and the India win in 1981 when I went past the record of the most runs in Test cricket – not a lot of people know I had that record.

“There will be some of my mum, and there will be some funny stories and taking questions from the audience – it should be a nice fun evening.

“I have done a few in the last four or five years, but I wouldn’t do a 30 show tour – it is too much hard work.”

The England team will also have to work hard to retain the Ashes over the coming months – does he rate their chances?

“Recently, teams have not been winning away from home – going abroad has been testing, so that is why I give the home side the edge.

“Both sides have been wobbling in their batting, but the key will be whether the quick bowlers can stay fit. It will be five tests in seven weeks – it is hard grind and tough on the body.

“When I went on tour, it was for four months – now they don’t have that.”

l An Evening With Geoffrey Boycott takes place at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium, Yarm, on Friday, November 10 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £25.