Opportunities abound for women broadcasters, says Isa Guha

During this Indian Test series, the former England women's international has been witty, engaging, and sharp in her reading of the game.

Isa Guha: "I've been hoping it (Women's IPL) might materialise for a while now, ever since I've been going to the IPL."   -  TWITTER: @isaguha

Isa Guha may be relatively new to a commentary box featuring the combined talents of David Gower, David Lloyd, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, but she has proven that she has a voice of her own.

During this Indian Test series, the former England women's international has been witty, engaging, and sharp in her reading of the game. "Broadcasters are recognizing that there is a wider audience out there that want to hear a female voice," she says.

READ| Series on the line as India takes on unsettled England

"It's great that there are so many opportunities for women at the moment. I've been educated in broadcast through working around the world and now I feel really confident that I can do the job alongside men and comfortable that I do offer a different perspective. OK, I haven't played the men's game. But I've played women's cricket and there are some similarities there.

READ| Kookaburra vs Dukes: what’s your choice?

"Part of my role is to try and get the best out of the guests that I have - try and understand what was going through their mind when they were playing and so forth."

Women's IPL makes sense

Guha, who has been working at the IPL for a few years now, loves the idea of a women's IPL. "I've been hoping it might materialise for a while now, ever since I've been going to the IPL," she says.

"It just makes sense. All the production is in place already. It would make sense to play a women's game ahead of a men's game. You think about the number of games that start at 8 p.m. when there aren't any 4 p.m. games [that day] - you could quite easily do that.

READ| Rahul Dravid, polishing India's rough diamonds

"The question is: Is there enough depth? Could you start with six teams initially? Maybe have five overseas players instead of four, just to start with? As the competition strengthens, you can expand that and have fewer overseas players."

A watershed moment

The World Cup in the UK last year was a landmark in the women's game, breaking records for viewership figures. "It's wonderful to see how far women's cricket has come,” says Guha.

"Batters have gone to another level in terms of their power-hitting and striking ability. Fielding has constantly improved and there are more skills with the ball as well. The World Cup also showed that there is a greater depth to teams. It's certainly not about the big four anymore. The professionalism that's come into the game has been outstanding."

Guha hails the ECB's efforts in promoting the tournament. "You need to break the cycle sometime," she says. "There was always the chicken and egg scenario of: 'People aren't going to turn up if you don't market the game. But people aren't going to market the game if there's no interest.' The ECB broke that cycle by just marketing the game.

"We were getting a lot of people at venues like Chelmsford and Hove and Taunton and so that had a knock-on effect on broadcasters wanting to showcase more of the games. But there has also been a backing from the government to try and promote as much women's sport as possible.

"And the likes of the BBC and Sky Sports have been very supportive of the women's game. That's what I am also now seeing around the world."