Commentator David Lloyd has left Sky Sports after 22 years.
The 74-year-old former England coach, nicknamed ‘Bumble’, joined Sky in 1999 after his three-year stint with the national team.
A left-handed batter and left-arm spinner for Lancashire, he played nine Tests and eight one-day internationals for England between 1973 and 1980.
“I’ve decided the time is now right to pass on the microphone,” said Lloyd.
“It’s been an immense privilege to try and bring the sport I love into people’s homes up and down the country.”
Lloyd last month apologised to former Yorkshire all-rounder Azeem Rafiq, who accused him of making disparaging comments about Asian players.
During a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing about his experience of racism at Yorkshire, Rafiq said he had been told Lloyd messaged other members of the media that “a clubhouse is the lifeblood of a club, and Asian players don’t go in there”.
In response, Lloyd said he had “made some comments about the Asian cricket community” and that he “deeply regrets” his actions.
“I apologise most sincerely to Azeem and to the Asian community for doing this, and for any offence caused,” he said.
Rafiq said Lloyd also apologised to him personally, adding: “He’s deeply sorry about it and I accept his apology.”
Sky said it is investigating Lloyd’s alleged comments.
‘The commentary box feels a little emptier’
Lloyd said he had “wonderful memories” of his time at Sky and had been “lucky to travel the world sharing Ashes highs and lows, World Cup wins and losses, heroics and heartaches with you all”.
He said the death of former England bowler and Sky pundit Bob Willis in 2019, plus former England captains David Gower and Ian Botham and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding leaving Sky recently had informed his decision.
“The commentary box feels a little emptier,” he said. “And so I feel it is time for me to do the same and move on to the next chapter.”
Lloyd scored one Test century – a double hundred against India in his second Test in 1974 – and one ODI hundred, and spent his entire county career with his native Lancashire from 1965 to 1983.
He was a first-class umpire from 1985 to 1987 and became Lancashire coach in 1993.
He took over as England coach in 1996 but the England and Wales Cricket Board did not renew his contract following England’s poor performance at the 1999 World Cup.
Sky Sports Cricket said Lloyd was a “star” member of their commentary team, with an “extraordinary ability to inform and entertain in equal measure”.
“He is much loved and respected by his fellow commentators and production team who cherish the time spent working with him,” read a statement. “Thank you Bumble for your service.”