Trinidad Guardian:– T&T and West Indies women’s cricketer Britney Cooper has lashed back at former England opener and commentator Jeffrey Boycott for comments he made concerning women analysing men’s cricket.
The 79-year-old wrote about his departure from the BBC in a column for The Telegraph on the weekend stressing the need for an expert to have experienced the game at the top level in order to provide opinion.
Boycott particularly highlighted the difference between the pace of men’s and the women’s game.
“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. There is room for women commentating, fronting as presenters and reporting. Many are excellent at it, such as Gabby Logan, Alison Mitchell, and Clare Balding. But as an expert summariser in men’s cricket, you need to have been out in the middle.”
Boycott’s 14-year reign with the BBC on their Test match special has come to an end and former England women cricket Isa Guha was named the new face of the BBC ahead of the home summer.
Cooper said: “I am hurt reading what he has to say. Just when you think that women have a place in all sports, he read comments like these from respected former cricketers. It is unfortunate and I want to state here that women can and has been doing an excellent job in analysing men’s cricket.”
Cooper, who has commentated with Cricket360 on many occasions, added that there are some women’s cricketers with an even better record than their male counterparts.
“He wants to compare but does he realise that there are women cricketers with even better records than known male players?
“When I see things like these coming to the fore it just reminds me of how some people will never accept the fact that women belong. This has hurt me and I want to commend all the female cricketers and commentators who have come out and spoken against this.”
Cooper has played 43 limited-overs internationals for the West Indies and 67 Twenty20s. She commentated with Cricket360 during the West Indies versus South Africa women’s series two years ago and also on a number of domestic matches in T&T.