Australia news September 3, 2014

Lanning to break commentary glass ceiling

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia women's captain Meg Lanning will enter the male-dominated world of Channel Nine commentary this summer. Lanning will take on commentary duties for the men's domestic one-day tournament, the Matador BBQs Cup, next month, and if all goes well she could also be heard commentating on Australia-South Africa internationals in November.

"It's an exciting opportunity to do something a little bit different," Lanning told the Age. "I watch a lot of men's and women's cricket so I feel like I really know the game and I've got a little bit to give there. We understand the game well and we can do a good job so hopefully me getting involved will start something off."

Lanning, 22, became the youngest person to captain Australia in either men's or women's cricket earlier this year, and led the side to the World T20 title in Bangladesh. Steve Crawley, the head of sport at Channel Nine, said Lanning had earned respect for her performances and leadership and was an appropriate fit for the commentary team.

"Everyone asks about adding a female to commentary ... and I've always been very aware that it will eventually happen, don't force it," Crawley said. "It's got to be right, so Meg came along with a wonderful attitude to her cricket, a wonderful reputation and style of play. Immediately you could tell she was special off the field and on the field.

"The Australian team is the best in the world, they've won everyone's respect, and she's got a vibrancy about her, too. The majority of our commentators are like her - they've captained Australia or vice-captained Australia. You'd like to think one day Michael Clarke will be sitting up there, he's got the pedigree for it and so does she."

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  • riwaj on September 4, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    england are already doing it with Isha Guha so its good the aussies are following suit. its good to have a fresh perspective from a soothing feminine voice. instead of the indian commentators like sanjay manjrekar.

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2014, 2:13 GMT

    Lol so when Lisa Sthalekar did commentary for channel 9 that didnt break any ceilings? Also Jagger agreed, nothing worse than Michael Slater.

  • James on September 3, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    @Jagger: I love Michael Slater! He has so much enthusiasm and seems genuinely happy to see guys do well. Seems like a good bloke.

  • Richard on September 3, 2014, 11:10 GMT

    I am thankful for Jimmy Maxwell, Henry Blofeld and Kerry O'Keefe. I have been listening to them since Micheal Slater started on channel nine so it won't make any difference to myself. Synchronisation between audio and visual is a problem but nothing is as bad as Michael Slater. It should not be lost on this generation how poorly our grasp of the English language and how non-entertaining we are in personality. Perhaps that they did more talking they became more proficient at it in the old days. Or perhaps that there was no restriction to what one could say. Perhaps today's commentary is more focused on the intelligence of a child. It is interesting nontheless to ponder such change and how history will judge us.

  • rob on September 3, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    I'd say she's a far better cricketer than I ever was so I look forward to her insights on the game. Just because she's a woman doesn't mean she doesn't know anything about the mens game. It's still cricket and she's obviously very good at it. .. It's also interesting that the girls have won a world T20 title but the boys haven't yet.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    Rather than getting into the gender difference, she's made it into the comm box at the age of 22! Awesome achievement, look forward to hearing her.

  • Dummy4 on September 3, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Great news, she certainly has a load of ability on the field, plays every shot and plays them well and seems to be a great leader to go with it.

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