Today, another blog post: Brians review, in 2008, of the Geoff Boycott biography by Leo McKinstry.

Brian describes the character of Boycott, why he was successful, and how his selfishness benefitted others, or at least cricket fans, if not always his team-mates.

And Boycott’s running between the wickets was, shall we say, famously variable. This was the one major aspect of the art of batting that Boycott simply refused to master. Oh, he mastered the art of not himself getting run out. But time and time again, the other fellow would find himself stranded between the wickets, having responded to an absurd Boycott call whose entire purpose was to enable Boycott to keep the strike, and have to disappear, fuming, to the pavilion.

And yet:

For me, what Boycott’s life illustrates, among much else, is that people who are “selfish” are just as likely, in among all the inevitable bumps and bruises and resentments, to do favours for the rest of us as are the more altruistic souls who think only of others all the time, never of themselves, and whose reaction to someone like Boycott is to back away in horror. Life is not a fixed sum game, and selfish people like Boycott can often enrich it mightily, for the rest of us as well as for themselves.