Words by Kevin Palmer, who you can follow on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer

BBC Sport presenter Isa Guha speaks to Female First in an exclusive interview
BBC Sport presenter Isa Guha speaks to Female First in an exclusive interview

BBC Sport presenter Isa Guha admits the criticism that has come her way on social media has not dented her confidence as a broadcaster, as the former England star opened up on her experiences in an exclusive interview with Female First.

The male-dominated world of TV cricket broadcasting has been transformed by some highly impressive female presenters and commentators in recent years, with Guha leading the evolution in her prominent role as the anchor for BBC's cricket coverage this summer.

Now she has admitted she needed a thick skin to block out the negativity that came her way on social media, as the presenter who enjoyed a glittering cricket career with England women's team before she moved into the media gave us an insight into life behind the microphone.

"Certainly at the start of my career when I didn't have a clue how to do television, there were a few comments about me then that were not very complimentary," she told us.

"That is never nice, but you have to accept that everything in life and in broadcasting especially is subjective and there will be people out there who don't like what you do. You have to accept that and as long as I am doing what I think is right to the best of my ability, you have to hope people are happy with that.

"The people who respect what you do don't tend to speak too much about it, but the people who don't like it tend to be the more vocal ones who like to speak up on social media.

"You have to try and take criticism with a pinch of salt and back yourself to do the job to the best of your ability."

Guha has worked across the cricketing world as she has emerged as a polished presenter on Australian and Indian TV, with her qualities also shining through in the UK TV with Sky Sports and the BBC and she admits she now feels at home among the game's all-time greats.

"For me, this has evolved to a place now where I just feel so comfortable around everyone," she continues. "When I first came into the environment working with Fox in Australia, we would have been sitting in the production room and we would have Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Alan Border and Wasim Akram in there and you are like... what is going on here.

"I'm fortunate that through the experience I have had over the last 10 years, there is no one in cricket broadcasting I haven't worked with and when you see them for a second time, it feels so much more relaxed. 

"When you get to the point I'm at now, it is so much more satisfying and that helps the broadcast and if you are having a good time, it generally tends to come out on TV.

"Someone like Shane Warne brings something very different to a broadcast compared to me and my job as the presenter is to let the stars shine through and everyone to give as much as they can to a broadcast. What I love most about this job is being part of a team and it really is a dream job.

"I really enjoy presenting. I like the challenge of getting the best out of my guests, making the right points at the right time, setting questions that will start a debate and making sure it all flows among the analysts.

"To do all of that in a three or four-minute piece is not easy. At times you have to ask tough questions, but we are are part of the entertainment business and we need to keep things light and enjoyable for the viewer.

"You have directors and producers in your ear and need to be alert to manage all of that and there are times when I will give my opinion when I'm on air. As a former player, I feel I am able to do that, but I am not an out-and-out analyst.

"I would say that being the presenter and being the analyst is very different. As a presenter, you are more inquisitive and as an analyst, you need to have more formed opinion. They are very different roles and they are both vital to making a broadcast work well."

England v Pakistan T20 International will be live on BBC One on August 30th, 2020 from 1.25pm.

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