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'Time for Him to Leave the Game' - Sthalekar Dismisses Boycott's Take on Women Commentators

'Time for Him to Leave the Game' - Sthalekar Dismisses Boycott's Take on Women Commentators

Lisa Sthalekar has dismissed former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott's claims that only men who have played Test cricket should serve as expert commentators.

Former Australian all-rounder turned commentator Lisa Sthalekar has dismissed former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott’s statement that only men who have played Test cricket should serve as expert commentators.

Sthalekar, who has become a massive presence across the cricket commentary circuit in recent times, said that Boycott is ‘dissing the industry he has been a part of for a long period of time’ and that it was time for him to leave the game.

“He is actually dissing the industry he has been a part of for a long period of time. 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.

“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."

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She said that the thought process behind playing the game doesn’t change whether the person discussing it is a man or woman.

“It, obviously, helps to have been in similar situations to then go: ‘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.

“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."

Sthalekar added that cricket as a sport ‘literally for all shapes and sizes, for everyone, regardless of gender’ and that nothing should stop people from sharing their opinions on the game.

“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.

“Cricket is a sport literally for all shapes and sizes, for everyone, regardless of gender. Everyone loves the game so why can’t everyone share opinions on broadcasts that are from a diverse background, whether that be different countries, different genders, because that is what is happening in the living room when we are all watching and listening to the radio."

Boycott’s statements came in his column for British newspaper the 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," he wrote.

first published:June 08, 2020, 14:08 IST