At just 17 years old, Isa Guha became the first woman of South Asian origin to represent England in any sport, when she made her international cricket debut in 2002.
In a playing career that spanned a decade, Isa was part of one of the most successful teams in English sporting history when, in 2009, England won two World Cups, an Ashes and inflicted an ODI series whitewash over Australia. Prior to this, in 2008, Isa was recognised as the ICC Ranked Number One Women’s Bowler in a period where she registered career best Test figures of 9-100 to help England win the Ashes in Australia for the first time since 1934/35. She was also involved in the Ashes winning team in 2005, which helped England regain the Ashes on home soil, after 42 years. At the time of her retirement in April 2012, Isa was positioned as the second highest wicket taker in the all-time England Women’s ODI List and sixth in the world, having been awarded 113 caps.
Since then, Isa has continued to break boundaries with a career in broadcasting. Her presenting debut during ITV’s Indian Premier League (IPL) coverage in 2011 led to several other opportunities, soon becoming a mainstay with the BBC and Sky Sports (UK), and affiliations with broadcasters globally including Star Sports, Sony Max (India), Triple M (Australia) and ESPN (West Indies, US), and production companies IMG and Sunset & Vine. Regularly finding herself in unchartered territory, Isa became the first woman to commentate on an Indian Test Series for Star Sports, on any global T20 men’s fixture during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and more recently on Sky Sports Men’s cricket coverage, as well as Triple M Radio in Australia. As a result, Isa’s profile has grown not only in the UK but extends right across the globe, from South Asia and Australia to the US and the Caribbean.
After three years on ITV’s coverage of the IPL, Isa was asked to present ESPN’s 2015 U.S. and Caribbean coverage of the Cricket World Cup in Australia, which was also available digitally across the globe. Over the course of the six-week tournament, Isa gained plenty of experience to help propel her into a regular presenting role with Sky Sports Cricket.
The last three years, in particular, have been extremely busy. In that time she completed a three year commentary stint on the Caribbean Premier League, followed by her seventh IPL season and third on the host broadcast as BCCI/IMG introduced women commentators for the first time, alongside a regular expert role on Sony Max Extraaa Innings, an entertainment wrap-around show. As a presenter, Isa has covered Men’s T20 games and all Women’s matches for Sky Cricket including the Women’s World Cup and that special Lords final on 23rd July, which brought about the highest ever viewership for a women’s game on Sky Sports.
Having trained with world class athletes during her cricket career at the English Institute of Sport, and with a keen interest in badminton, hockey, tennis and athletics, Isa set her sights on broadcasting ventures into sports aside from cricket to add to her coverage of the UK Open Darts for ITV, in 2014. Therefore, an opportunity to present the 2016 Rio Olympics for ESPN Caribbean came at the perfect time for Isa, and she was thrilled to be part of the team in a role that included 8-9 hours/day of live TV presenting across the two weeks of the Games.
Last summer saw the introduction of Isa to the Sky Sports’s Natwest Blast Commentary team, the first time Sky have ever used a female commentator on a men’s game, followed by commentary on the England v West Indies Test, the first ever Day/Night Test to be held in England. This led to her joining the Sky Sports Test commentary team in 2018. Recently, it was announced that Isa would join the Fox Sports Cricket Coverage as they embark on a new era of cricket broadcast in Australia.
Having finished her thesis last year, Isa is also keen to supplement her commentary and presenting work with production of her own documentary ideas. Experience into this field began with a piece on the India v Pakistan Champions Trophy clash in June for ‘’the One Show’’.
Not content with TV broadcasting alone, Isa turned her hand to both radio, as one of the first women to summarise as a regular on men’s international fixtures for BBC’s Test Match Special. In 2016, Isa joined Triple M, the Australian FM radio station, as a ball-by-ball commentator and summariser for the Australia v Pakistan Test series, which was a major success and recently returned from the Ashes ‘Down Under’ having completed another successful trip. Her role in ball-by-ball commentary with the BBC TMS has since increased and will continue to summarise in addition to Ball-by-ball on Men’s Internationals this summer.
Isa has contributed pieces to Wisden, the Telegraph (UK and Australia), Daily Mail and online to the BBC, Guardian and All Out Cricket. Profile features include Vogue, GQ India, SPORT and Asiana in the UK, and a host of magazines in India including Vogue, Femina, Grazia and the Mandate.
Isa is a regular on the speaking circuit - drawing from her experiences in cricket, media and education to deliver relevant motivational talks to a variety of audiences ranging from sports evenings and lectures to conferences and networking events. Over the years, Isa has branched out into hosting dinners and hospitality days, including the Yorkshire Cricket Awards and the Phil Tufnell VIP Club at the Oval.
As an Ambassador for various charities, Isa is keen to make an impact through her work with the British Asian Trust and Justice and Care. Affiliations continue with Sporting Equals and the ever- important Cricket United charities and she has previously supported the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and Jaguar Academy for Sport.
OTHER NOTABLE ASSOCIATIONS/ACHIEVEMENTS
Away from the sporting arena, Isa graduated with a 2.1 (Bsc) Hons in Biochemistry at UCL and recently completed an MPhil in Neuroscience. With a keen desire to make a contribution to science as well as sport, Isa’s research specifically looked at the advancement on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Isa will also look to have an influence on cricket and the social cohesion in the U.K on a wider scale having been asked to join the South Asian Strategy Panel for the England and Wales Cricket Board and also as a Trustee of the Berkshire Cricket Foundation who will be enforcing the Spirit of 2012 campaign to engage with local communities.
Isa joined the Professional Cricketers Association last May, at an important time for both the women’s and men’s game and also sits on the Wisden Cricket Editorial Board.
TV & Radio
15 ODI series, 7 T20 series & 3 Ashes victories
83 ODIs | 8 Tests | 22 T20s