Former England player turned popular pundit David Lloyd announced that he would be leaving Sky Sports back in December after 22 years working for the broadcaster
Lloyd had been a regular fixture on Sky’s coverage of the sport for 22 years, having first joined the broadcaster after his stint as England head coach came to an end in 1999. In a statement, Lloyd said the tragic passing of colleague Bob Willis in 2019 played a part in his decision, along with Michael Holding’s retirement and Sky’s decision to let David Gower and Ian Botham go.
“With the passing of Bob Willis and after the decision to move on by my good friends David Gower, Ian Botham and more recently, Michael Holding, 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.”
Now, the 75-year-old has further opened up about why he left Sky, claiming there “can be no innuendo” and that if you “say anything that can be misinterpreted” then “you will spend your life apologising for it”. In an interview with the Daily Mail , Lloyd said: “My race has been run with Sky and there will be certain things I will miss after being involved in commentary across five decades.
“Having fun and just being myself for a start. I know I’ve gone to the edge at times, and used to be encouraged to do so. Our coverage used to be rock and roll, we were told to take risks.
“Now they have clawed things right back and it’s absolutely taboo to say anything that can be misinterpreted. There can be no innuendo.
“One word out of place now and you will spend your life apologising for it. Therefore, it makes me chuckle that Andrew Strauss was knighted for calling Kevin Pietersen a c*** on air a decade ago, and now gets to select the England team!”
Lloyd’s decision to leave Sky came a month after he issued an apology to Azeem Rafiq after being accused by the former spinner of attempting to smear him amid his allegations of racism at Yorkshire. Rafiq told the DCMS committee that Lloyd had been “messaging other members of the media who supported me saying stuff like ‘the club houses are the life blood of a club and Asian players don’t go in there’, ‘getting subs out of Asian players is like getting blood out of stone'”.
Following the announcement of Lloyd’s departure from Sky, Rafiq told the Daily Mail : “I really hope his departure from Sky had nothing to do with me because it was not my intention for him to lose his job. That is not change.”