Isa Guha is a renowned international cricketer who played for England. Being a specialist seam bowler from 2002 to 2011, Guha has contributed greatly to many of England’s historic wins. The fact that she is the first cricketer of South Asian origin to have cemented her place in England’s cricket team is noteworthy.
Born in May 1985, Isa Guha developed an interest in cricket once she started playing with her brother in the backyard of their house in England. When her parents saw her interest in the game, they enrolled her in the local cricket club for formal training.
After her successful cricket career, Guha has focused on cricket commentary and has gradually cemented her place as one of the best presenters out there.
Read on to know more.
Guha made her debut in 2001 at the age of 16 years in the Women’s European Championship. Three years later, Isa Guha played an important role in steering England’s win against New Zealand in an ODI series. But, her most memorable performance was yet to come.
Isa Guha helped England win the Ashes in the Bowral Test in 2007-2008. She took 9 for 100 which sealed the deal for England. Guha also went on to become an integral part of the team that won the ICC World Cup and World T20 in 2009. She announced her retirement in 2012.
Post-retirement from cricket, Guha started working as a sports columnist and cricket commentator on radio and television. Needless to say, she broke many records in her new avatar as well.
Finding her feet in the male-dominated world of cricket commentary hasn't been easy. Initially, she did struggle to establish herself. She worked as a co-presenter for ITV and covered the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2012. Guha has worked as a sports columnist for BBC's website and a test match summariser.
Isa Guha has also worked at Triple M, Sky Sports, and Fox. While she has never dwelt much on the fact that she’s the first woman of South Asian origin to have found a place in the national team, she’s aware of the fact that she’s a woman in a male-dominated world.
She credits Australian legend Shane Warne to be particularly helpful in her journey as a commentator. Guha has been a subject of social media abuse since the time she started commentating. She believed that the main reason why she gets criticized or even trolled is because she's a woman.
It was Shane Warne who helped her find her feet. She said in an interview—“The way he would ask me questions about cricket, that made a big difference.”
Warne and Guha would keep discussing cricketing techniques as they both love the game passionately. It helped her gain confidence which egged her on to establish herself as a brilliant presenter and commentator.
Isa Guha firmly believes that her presence in the commentary box and work as a cricket presenter and commentator, would change the situation for the better for subsequent generations of women associated with the game.
She has recently launched a not-for-profit organisation called Take Her Lead which is focused on mentoring young girls to have the best experience in cricket.
The work done by former cricketers like Isa Guha will naturally leave the arena of cricket a more inclusive space. While it’s always wonderful to see how far women’s cricket has travelled, Guha believes that there’s still more to be done.
What is the common stereotype that Isa Guha is tired of encountering with respect to her commentary?
A common stereotype that Guha has experienced is that women can’t have opinions about men’s cricket as they don’t play the game.
Who is Isa Guha married to?
The former England cricketer is married to Richard Thomas who is a musician.
Is Isa Guha from India?
Isa Guha’s parents moved to the United Kingdom from Kolkata, India in the 1970s. She's the first woman of South Asian origin to play for England.