THERESA MAY’S parting shot as she left her Downing Street press conference was to find a pithy retort to a cricket-themed question about whether it was time for her to resign as “captain”.

The renown cricket fan told journalists: “One of my cricket heroes was always Geoffrey Boycott. And what do you know about Geoffrey Boycott? Geoffrey Boycott stuck to it and he got the runs in the end.”

He did indeed, but while Boycott’s record as a remarkable run scorer has never been in question, even the most one-eyed Yorkshireman or woman would admit his legacy to the game – and his home county – is not as straight forward as that.


As a player, Boycott was a famously divisive character, whose removal as captain by the Yorkshire committee in the early 1980s brought the club to the brink of civil war, even provoking public protests. He encountered friction with many teammates, and was once run out deliberately by Ian Botham, such was his slow rate of scoring in a Test Match in New Zealand.

A supremely talented, bloody-minded individual? Yes? A leader who can galvanise a team at times of crisis? Not so much.


If it is a cricketing metaphor Mrs May wants, she might look for inspiration to the 45-year-old Brian Close facing the ferocious bowling of Michael Holding armed with just a bat, gloves and towel for a thigh pad.

Battered, bruised but determined to plough on, no matter how hopeless the situation.