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Shuffling between different wickets

india Updated: Dec 12, 2011 00:03 IST
Nikhilesh Bhattacharya

Few international cricketers can claim to have won their side the Ashes, got a post-graduate degree in neurosciences and replaced Mandira Bedi as a TV presenter. Isa Guha has done it all and she is only 26.

“I got a call from ITV (the IPL rights-holders in the UK) a week before the league started. Mandira couldn’t do the job because she was pregnant,” Guha told HT during the lunch break of a local cricket match at the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club (CCFC) on Sunday. Guha, whose paternal grandparents still live in Kolkata, was playing for CCFC-A, the only woman in the all boys’ match. The medium-pacer, who opens the bowling for England, took two wickets.

Although she had no previous experience in TV presentation, Guha enjoyed her time at ITV. “It helped that I had played cricket. I knew what I was talking about.”

From bowling to her elder brother in the backyard of their Buckinghamshire home, Guha, the Bengali born has come a long way, becoming the first cricketer of Asian origin to play for the England women’s team, making her Test debut at 17 and helping her team regain the Ashes in 2008.

Guha has also won the World Cup and the World T20 Championship with England. She is currently in India to escape the English winter and train for the busy international schedule ahead, which includes the next World T20 in Sri Lanka.