Voices of the game: Meet the women in ICC's World Cup commentary team

ICC's official commentary panel features three women - Isa Guha, Melanie Jones and Alison Mitchell this time around, as opposed to an all-male team that called the shots four years ago.

ICC commentators

(L-R) Melanie Jones, Isa Guha, Alison Mitchell   -  Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced its official commentary team for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales  and calling it star-studded is probably an understatement.

Apart from commentary box regulars Harsha Bhogle, Sanjay Manjrekar and former players Kumar Sangakkara and Sourav Ganguly, the list also features a debutant. Former Australia batsman Michael Clarke, who led his nation to the fifth World Cup title in 2015, will be making his commentary debut at the big ticket event that starts on May 30. 

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What's more notable though is the three women named in the group — Isa Guha, Melanie Jones and Alison Mitchell. The broadcasters make this team different from the all-male panel that called the shots four years ago.

 

Bringing rich broadcasting experience, Guha, Jones and Mitchell will be part of the 24-member team that will bring viewers around the world all the action from England and Wales as 10 teams battle for the trophy.

Isa Guha

 
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Former English cricketer Isa Guha   -  Getty Images

When former India captain Rahul Dravid announced his retirement on March 9, 2012, another cricketer in England also hung her boots, that was Guha.

The right-hand medium-pacer made her international debut at the age of 16, back in 2001, slowly proving to be the backbone of several wins for England over the next decade.

She was part of the 2009 Women's World Cup-winning English side and fondly remembers the tournament as one of her career's highest points.

After retirement, Isa moved on to another daunting wicket — broadcasting. She has featured in sports telecasts for television and radio run by ITV and Sky Sports. She currently writes for BBC Sports and also features in BBC Doosra, a cricket podcast.

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Alison Mitchell

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English broadcaster Alison Mitchell   -  Getty Images

The only one of the three women on the panel who hasn't played professional cricket before, Mitchell was a hockey player before taking to broadcasting full-time.

Having begun her career in radio with the BBC, she balanced high school, broadcasting and a penchant for sport all at once.

Adept in her coverage of athletics, tennis and golf among other sports, one can say her inclination towards cricket started rather academically, having dedicated her thesis to studying the impact of broadcasting on the game.

She was the first woman to become a regular commentator on BBC's Test Match Special and the first to cover men's cricket live on ABC Radio Grandstand in Australia.

Mitchell has worked with top players in the market. Her portfolio carries big names such as Channel 4, Channel 7, ESPN Star Sports, Sky and BT Sports among others.

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Melanie Jones

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Former Australian cricketer Melanie Jones   -  Getty Images

One will recognise Melanie Jones from her coverage of the Indian Premier League, Big Bash League and Pakistan Super League.

The right-handed batswoman had a short cricketing stint, having played five test matches and 61 ODIs for Australia between 1998 and 2003, besides also playing for Victorian Spirit and Tasmanian Roar in the Australian Women's National Cricket League.

Her innings in commentary began in 2007. She went on to work with Australia's Channel 9 and ABC Radio among others as a sports reporter.

Off the field of play, her contribution for Red Dust, an NGO in Australia, has helped push health initiatives in remote Aboriginal communities in the continent.

Jones was inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2017.

FULL PANEL

Nasser Hussain, Michael Clarke, Ian Bishop, Sourav Ganguly, Melanie Jones, Kumar Sangakkara, Michael Atherton, Alison Mitchell, Brendon McCullum, Graeme Smith, Wasim Akram, Shaun Pollock, Michael Slater, Mark Nicholas, Michael Holding, Isa Guha, Pommie Mbangwa, Sanjay Manjrekar, Harsha Bhogle, Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Ramiz Raja, Athar Ali Khan and Ian Ward.