Former England cricketer and veteran commentator Geoffrey Boycott has stirred the headlines after his recent comments regarding women’s cricket comparison to men’s cricket have gone viral. A day after his departure from BBC’s Test Match Special commentary team, Boycotts said only those who have played men’s cricket at the highest level should be allowed to give expert analysis during a Test match.
“To provide the expert analysis you need to have experienced the heat of Test cricket and understand what it takes to succeed,” Boycott wrote in the London Telegraph.
“You have to know the pressure, emotions and technique required and I do not believe you can learn that from reading a book or because you played club cricket, second XI cricket or, with great respect, women’s cricket. As good as the women are at their game, it bears no resemblance to the power and pace of men’s cricket,” the 79-year-old added.
However, his statement has not gone down well with former Australia women cricketer Lisa Sthalekar. In a chat with Sydney Morning Herald, Sthalekar said the thought process is the same whether one plays men’s or women’s cricket.
“It, obviously, helps to have been in similar situations to go then: ‘This is what the players might be thinking’. But the thought process and how people play the game is still exactly the same whether you play men’s cricket or women’s cricket,” said Sthalekar.
Sthalekar opposed Boycott’s “power and pace” statement by mentioning that it has got nothing to do with power.
“It’s got nothing to do with power. The other thing as well, and this is for guys as women’s cricket is pretty cool and sexy at the moment, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but we need to remember that we don’t need guys coming in asking women to compare it to men’s because it is not. It is different,” the former Australia women captain added.
The former New South Wales cricketer specified that giving the same logic; males shouldn’t comment on women’s cricket either.
“The same argument for him is that we shouldn’t have any males commentating on our game because they have never played against females. But that is not what we (cricket) are about,” Sthalekar added further.
Sthalekar then stated that she didn’t see much power exhibited by Boycott when he played Test cricket.
“It’s time for him to leave the game and let’s remember him as a great cricketer of a certain generation. Talk about power – I didn’t see much power that he displayed,” the Pune-born analysed.
The cricketer-turned-commentator further paid attention to Boycott’s strike-rate and claimed some women cricketers would have had a better strike rate than him.
“Let’s call up his strike rate and look at some of the numbers compared to female Test cricketers of even that generation. I think some of the female cricketers would have had a better strike rate than he did,” concluded Sthalekar.