Prominent cricket commentator Isa Guha has issued a classy response to inflammatory and misogynistic suggestions that women shouldn’t cover men’s sport.
Polarising former English footballer Joey Barton caused a storm that reverberated around the globe earlier this month when he told UK shock jock Piers Morgan that females don’t belong on the coverage of male sport.
The jarring and wildly offensive opinion was met with widespread blowback, but that didn’t bother the former EPL midfielder, who doubled down on his vile comments just days later.
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“It’s a completely different game,” Barton said of women’s football.
“If you don’t accept that, we will always see things differently.
“The women’s game is thriving. Fantastic to see. (But) I cannot take a thing they say serious in the men’s arena.”
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Guha, an accomplished cricket broadcaster who played 113 internationals for England across all three formats of the game, has become a star of UK and Australian television during her already decorated media career.
She started appearing on screens just months after he retirement from the game in 2011, contributing to UK broadcaster ITV4’s coverage of the 2012 IPL.
Isa Guha is an accomplished broadcaster. Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
The 38-year-old, whose parents emigrated from India before she was born, has also become a polished radio caller, and has written sports columns for the BBC.
In a lengthy Instagram post on Tuesday night, Guha detailed her gratitude for being in the position she is, and the hard work it took her to get there.
“I’ve been thinking lately of how grateful I am to be able to cover sport, because I guess it hasn’t always been attainable,” she wrote.
“I’m aware of the recent comments in the UK that women shouldn’t work on men’s sport, and people voicing differing opinions around the matter.“When I first started, I was pretty green and I remember the comments then. But my bosses backed me against the noise and when I made plenty of mistakes. As a result, I wanted to repay them by learning as much and as quickly as possible.”
She said the diversity of her colleagues is “what makes it special” to broadcast sport.
Guha was a right-arm seam bowler for England. Credit: Tony Marshall – EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images
“But I hope that as time moves on, there is more focus on everyone enjoying sport rather than their gender or background.”
Guha implicitly dismissed Barton’s comments with typical grace, and celebrated cricket’s trailblazing commitment to amplifying females’ voices in both men’s and women’s sport. “Cricket has led the way with many female voices and I’m grateful that many of our peers and colleagues have always given us the support/space and backing to fulfil our roles,” she wrote.
“While there will always be exceptions, I’ve always felt it’s more important to acknowledge those that raise us up rather than those that don’t.“My opinion is that women can work on men’s sport just as men can work on women’s sport as pundits/presenters/commentators. But either way, let’s give people exactly the same patience and support to learn and thrive.”