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David Lloyd announces retirement from cricket commentary after 22 years

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London, Dec 21 (IANS) David Lloyd, the former England cricketer on Tuesday announced his retirement from Sky Sports after 22 years working as a commentator.

The 74-year-old former England coach, nicknamed ‘Bumble’, joined Sky in 1999 after his three-year stint with the national team. He played nine Tests and eight one-day internationals for England between 1973 and 1980.

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The former left-handed batter said that “the commentary box feels a little emptier” following the departure of three long-term colleagues in David Gower, Ian Botham, and Michael Holding, and the passing of the late Bob Willis.

“I’ve decided the time is now right to pass on the microphone. It’s been an immense privilege to try and bring the sport I love into people’s homes up and down the country,” Lloyd said in a statement.

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“Sharing a commentary box in Australia in 2013 with my broadcasting hero Bill Lawry was a real highlight. It has been a great pleasure to work alongside Ian Bishop, Ravi Shastri, Shane Warne, Shaun Pollock, and Ian Smith amongst many others.

“I leave the Sky box now in immensely capable hands led by my pals Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Ian Ward, and Rob Key. To those that follow, cherish that mic Inform and entertain, so the next generation can fall in love with this wonderful game,” he added.

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Lloyd last month apologised to former Yorkshire all-rounder Azeem Rafiq, who accused him of making disparaging comments about Asian players.

“I deeply regret my actions, and I apologise most sincerely to Azeem and to the Asian cricket community for doing this, and for any offence caused. I am strongly committed to making cricket a more inclusive sport,” Lloyd had said.

“It is very obvious now that more work needs to be done and I will do everything I can to remove discrimination from the sport I love, and the sport that has been my life for over 50 years,” he added.

Sky said at the time that it was “committed to actively championing inclusion in cricket — and in all sports — and opposing all forms of discrimination” and that it would investigate Lloyd’s comments.

–IANS

avn/bsk

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