05 November 2018 last updated at 12:35 GMT
 
Alison Mitchell to call Test cricket in Aus this summer
Wednesday 11 July 2018

Mitchell, the award-winning British broadcaster, will join Tim Lane and James Brayshaw on Channel Seven, who will be beaming Test cricket and the Big Bash League as part of a deal that includes Fox Sports. The channel will launch its cricket coverage with a women’s Twenty20 game on 29 September.

 

But David Barham, the channel’s Head of Cricket, explained that signing up Mitchell was not with an eye on making statements on gender equality and there were no agendas at work.

“She’s a gun commentator,” Barham told Australian Associated Press. “1983 was the last time there was a female voice in Test cricket in Australia on free-to-air TV, 35 years ago. It doesn’t seem right to me.

 

“It’s appropriate and long overdue, with cricket being a sport that has done so much for women. But she’s not picked because she’s a woman. She’s picked because she is very good at her job. To me she is in the best two or three, that’s what you want.”

 

Australia are scheduled to host South Africa for a limited-overs series in November, but the Test action starts with India, who will play four Tests in the 2018-19 period in Australia along with a set of limited-overs matches. Sri Lanka will also travel to Australia for a Test series in January-February 2019.

Former cricketers Jason Gillespie, Simon Katich, Lisa Sthalekar, Brad Hodge, Greg Blewett and Dirk Nannes have all been confirmed as Channel Seven’s other new cricket signings. Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming and Michael Slater are among the high-profile figures to have signed on with the channel earlier.

 

“We’re not looking at turning the game on its head ... the change will really come with the new voices, talent and people,” Barham said. “I don’t think we’re going to do anything too outlandish outside that. What we will do is tell stories.”

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