Isa Guha has called BS on the idea that she ‘replaced’ Geoffrey Boycott in the BBC’s cricket commentary team.
Boycott, a legend of English cricket, was left fuming earlier this year when he was relieved of his role on BBC radio’s Test Match Special after 14 years in the job.
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And the 80-year-old has taken another swipe at his former employers, saying the BBC chose “equality over quality” in not offering him a new contract.
“It is now all about political correctness, about gender and race,” Boycott told the UK Telegraph.
“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.”
Guha, a former England international who has become one of the most popular cricket commentators in the world, currently works for the BBC.
But she was left angry on Wednesday when the Daily Mail reported that she has ‘replaced’ Boycott, despite being employed by the BBC for 10 years.
“I tend to ignore these articles and realise that, by reacting, it only fulfils the objectives of the headline,” Guha wrote on social media.
“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.
“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.”
Come on, we all know Boycott had a good innings. Too good, many would say. To conflate his departure with Isa Guha's deserved promotion is sinister. She deserves better. https://t.co/9FCIHDhiUj
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) October 21, 2020
Quite right Ish. You’re the best ❤️
— Eleanor Oldroyd (@EllyOldroyd) October 21, 2020
You inspire every single day Ish x
— Alison Mitchell (@AlisonMitchell) October 21, 2020
Isa, it’s hard to ignore and hard not to be hurt by it. Just don’t let it stop you being brilliant ❤️🤜🏼
— Kelly Cates (@KellyCates) October 21, 2020
The article is a disgrace and I feel angry on your behalf. You are a brilliant commentator who provides great insight and has warm rapport with your colleagues - just what TMS needs. Please don’t let it get you down and see how much support you have here.
— Josh Crandon (@OldTrouserFace) October 21, 2020
Isa Guha receives support from sporting world
Guha, whose parents are from India, played eight Tests and 83 one-day internationals for England.
English sports journalist Paul Hayward supported Guha on Twitter, writing: “Come on, we all know Boycott had a good innings. Too good, many would say.
“To conflate his departure with Isa Guha’s deserved promotion is sinister. She deserves better.”
Jack Mendel added, saying: “By the way, this ‘younger multi-racial line-up’ are also extremely talented.
“They are recently retired professional cricketers (referring specifically to Isa Guha and Ebony Rainford-Brent) who are excellent commentators.”
Boycott’s bitter departure from the BBC also came after he claims he was “set up” by the broadcaster when he was asked about an assault conviction in an interview about his knighthood.
Boycott was fined $10,000 and slapped with a three-month suspended jail sentence for assaulting his former girlfriend Margaret Moore in France in 1998, allegations he denies.
“I was set up. They said they wanted to talk to me about my knighthood and I felt I had a duty to do it,” Boycott told The Telegraph.
“You think you are doing the right thing but all they were interested in was bringing up the court case. I have talked about it so many times but that is all they wanted to talk about.
“That was upsetting which is why I said, ‘I don’t give a toss about this’.
“You expect better from the BBC, don’t you? But it is not the BBC it used to be.”
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