A former reality TV contestant, Chris Hughes, hired by the BBC as a cricket presenter for The Hundred Tournament, has shocked fans with a “sexist” and “unsolicited” comment to Australian cricketer Maitlan Brown.
Southern Brave’s Brown was speaking to Hughes in a mid-game interview when the uncomfortable moment took place.
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Brown explained that the side had bonded when training together and then going to watch the new Barbie movie together when Hughes told the 26-year-old fast-bowler she “look like a little Barbie yourself with your blue eyes.”
Brown was clearly uncomfortable, laughing off the comment as Hughes continued, “She’s blushing now.”
Cricket presenter Chris Hughes called Australian cricketer Maitlan Brown “a little Barbie” live on air. Credit: Twitter
A BBC spokesperson said, “We have spoken to Chris and explained that his comment was not appropriate.”
Journalist Katya Witney wrote, “That type of comment is an unsolicited observation of a woman’s appearance while she is at her place of work, at its bare bones.”
Another said, “some reality TV clown on the BBC patronising our Maitlan Brown with an unbelievably sexist comment,” another writing “I am speechless. I was cringing for her. Lesser people would have smacked him in the chops. Imagine telling Ben Stokes he looks like Ken?!”
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One cricket fan account, Australian Women’s Cricket Fan Page, wrote, “The worst thing is that his follow-up is almost word for word what Chris Gayle said all those years ago. Apparently, he did not get the memo of not being a weirdo to women at work.”
The incident being referenced is when then-Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin was propositioned by West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle, who asked her out for a drink live on air and told her “don’t blush baby,” in 2016.
The Hundred competition is so-named because each team faces 100 balls in 20 five-ball ‘sets.’
The third staging has suffered from several stars withdrawing, including in recent days Australia’s Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy, and Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan.
After a draining Ashes series, few of the England men’s Test players are likely to feature early on, if at all. None of the Australian men’s Ashes squad are involved.
But there remains a number of notable players slated to feature with 16 Aussies lined up, including Adam Zampa, Matthew Wade, Georgia Wareham, Grace and Laura Harris and Nathan Ellis. Six of the 16 coaches are Australian, including Mike Hussey, Tom Moody and Trevor Bayliss.
Tuesday’s opening double-header at Trent Bridge, Nottingham featured Alana King and Sams for Trent Rockets and Brown and Tim David for Southern Brave.
In the women’s match, India’s Smriti Mandhana, who had a disappointing WPL after reaping the competition’s biggest contract worth $A625,000, top-scored with a 36-ball 55 as Brave, last year’s runners-up, made 6-157. King took 1-24 off her 15 balls. Rockets made 7-130 to lose by 27 runs, though Brown went wicketless for 41 off her 20.
Rockets’ men, the defending champions, then scrapped to 8-133 with Chris Jordan taking 3-18. Brave, the 2021 winners, found scoring equally tough with David out for a four-ball five.
It came down to the final set, delivered by Sams, with Brave needing 11 off the five balls with three wickets left. The Sydney Thunder allrounder dismissed danger man Jordan for an 11-ball 22, saw Craig Overton run out, then had Tymal Mills lbw to end the innings and secure a six-run win with a ball to spare.
Sams finished with 3-26 off 19 deliveries.
– With AAP.
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