Geoff Boycott’s comments about Mike Yardy have attracted a lot of criticism. When told that Yardy was being forced to go home because of depression, Boycott said:
“I’m surprised, very surprised. But he must have been reading my comments about his bowling, it must have upset him.
“Obviously it was too much for him at this level. If any blame is attached it’s partly to the selectors because I’m sorry, he’s not good enough at this level.”
That sounds very heartless, but the truth is that it betrays Boycott’s unusually narrowly focused interaction with the world rather than any actual callousness on his part, as is shown by his later comments when it is pointed out to him that Yardy is suffering from an illness:
“It’s obviously very sad, but I’m not a medical man, so I can’t tell you what it’s like to be depressed. I’ve been lucky, I’ve been good enough … until you’ve had depression I don’t think you’re qualified to talk about it.”
For Geoffrey Boycott, everything in life revolves around how good you are at cricket. Every success, every problem – all of it derives from cricketing ability or lack thereof. Boycott is not a cold-hearted man. He is just someone who struggles to see the world as other people do.
Tell Geoff Boycott that Mike Yardy is suffering from depression and he simply can’t imagine how Yardy might be feeling. His immediate response is to imagine Geoff Boycott in that same position and deduce what might have happened based on that.