Former England women cricketer and commentator Isa Guha has hit back at legendary Geoffrey Boycott who had claimed that BBC chose “equality over quality” by dropping him from their commentary panel.
Guha took umbrage at a report from the newspaper ‘Daily Mail’ which wrote that former England opener Boycott was dropped from the commentary team for a “younger multi-racial line-up”. The 2009 World Cup winner cleared the air saying it feels a bit odd while she hears that she has replaced someone in the panel despite working hard in the field for almost ten years.
“I tend to ignore these articles and realise that, by reacting, it only fulfils the objectives of the headline. But having been subjected to this over the last few years I just wanted to say a couple of things. I appreciate people have varying opinions on the job I do as a presenter/commentator. However, the idea that I have ‘replaced’ Geoffrey is a bit odd, having worked on international men’s cricket at the BBC for the best part of 10 years,” she was quoted as saying by 7 News.
“My role is completely different to Boycott’s”: Guha
Guha further stated that her role is completely different than that of Boycott’s. She is also tired of being dragged into sexism controversies due to the colour of her skin and gender.
“Furthermore, my role is completely different to Geoffrey’s. To keep being dragged into this kind of conversation purely because of the colour of my skin and gender is quite frankly tiresome and only serves to create division.
“I only have sadness that this should be deemed newsworthy over something more positive and inspiring,” Isa Guha added.
What did Boycott actually say?
Boycott, who was earlier a part of BBC’s famous Test Match Special radio commentary team, was unhappy as his contract was not extended in June. Boycott did not mince his words when he was asked about the revamped panel which has the like of Guha, former England captain Alastair Cook and veteran seamer James Anderson.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Boycott clearly mentioned that BBC has chosen “equality over quality”. He added that the move of including new presenters was taken, keeping the gender and race in mind.
“They have sacrificed quality for equality. It is now all about political correctness, about gender and race. When you work for them, you are wary and frightened of saying anything. It is a minefield out there, and that is sad.
“I think long after I am dead there will be a government come along who will take away the BBC’s funding and they will have to go private, out into the real world like ITV and Sky because at the top, it is not run particularly well,” said Boycott.