Isa Guha was one of the brightest stars in England’s women’s cricket team. Now, she is extending her expertise to the Indian Premier League from the television studio with Navjot Singh Sidhu many a time.
Guha (28 today), the first Asian woman to play for England was part of the squad that won the 50-50 World Cup and World T20 in 2009 but had to retire from the game last year in the wake of several injuries.
She spoke to MiD DAY recently.
Excerpts from an interview:
Should the ICC have a window for IPL?
Yes. Players from many countries play in this tournament, but with the busy schedule, it would be hard to fit in the tournament. It is not impossible though. If it does happen, it would add to the tournament’s profile.
Who is your favourite cricketer in the IPL?
MS Dhoni. I really love the way he is — cool, calm and relaxed. He is just wonderful.
IPL is all about big-hitting. Can this alone sustain the interest of cricket lovers?
IPL is not just about big-hitting. There are other aspects to the game as well — spinners and pacers. Personally, I enjoy the sixes hit outside the fence. And I’m sure it’s the same with spectators.
Dale Steyn said there should be more leeway for bowlers…
I basically feel that it’s good to allow more (leeway) for bowlers. Like, the wicket at Jaipur which helps the bowlers. It makes the game more interesting.
What are the good and bad aspects of Twenty20 cricket?
The good part is that the shorter format is more exciting and thrilling. One requires more skills in a shorter period of time. It captures the imagination of cricketers like Gayle with some splash of Bollywood. I don’t find any negatives as long as values of the game are retained. As long as cricketers are educated to behave, they will be fine. In India there is a tendency among players to lean towards financial opportunities. And in the longer run, India might have problems with that.
Do you think there should be an IPL for women?
Definitely. They should start with a four-franchise tournament and later on make it bigger. Naturally with kids growing up to T20, they lean towards the shorter format of the sport.
What will you miss about India when you go back to England?
I’ll miss the weather, food and masala chai. And the most important thing… the passion for cricket.