Melanie Jones: ‘Great to see emergence of young Indian players’ 

“It is great to see the emergence of some exciting young talents from India, like Smriti Mandhana, who bats with so much elegance, Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar,” Melanie Jones said.

Melanie Jones is one of the pioneering female voices at the commentators' box.   -  Special Arrangement

Melanie Jones made 131 on her Test debut in 1998. More than any other woman till then.

“Maybe I should say that it was a green wicket and the ball was seaming around, but it was an absolute road; a flat, hard pitch that was a batter's delight,” Jones told Sportstar the other day at Vadodara, in a voice that has become so familiar.

She is one of the more recognisable female voices of cricket these days. She has become so busy as a commentator that she has quit her job as a manager of athletes.

“I was the Jerry Maguire without money,” she smiles. “Only last year did I become a full-time commentator.”

In 2001, she had become one of the pioneering female voices at the commentators' box, three years after she played her first Test and scored that hundred for Australia against England at Guildford.

“At that time, Sky Sports used to broadcast one women's game per season,” she recalls. “So I did very few games; it was like Boycott's batting.”

When did she become a Sehwag, then? “During the last 18 months,” she laughs. She says she enjoys sharing the microphone with some of the legends of the game.

“I admire Ricky Ponting as a commentator for his brilliant cricket mind,” she says. “I also respect Michael Atherton for the way he describes the game, that he is a fine writer also helps.”

The women's game has become much popular today than it was during her playing days. So much so that the India-Australia series was played before full houses. “India reaching the final of the World Cup last year is the main reason for that,” says Jones, who has played in 61 ODIs.  “It is great to see the emergence of some exciting young talents from India, like Smriti Mandhana, who bats with so much elegance, Jemimah Rodrigues and Pooja Vastrakar.”

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