Women presenters on TV get thumbs up

Cricket is no longer only a gentleman’s game. From being players to commentators and even presenters, women have taken the front seat in this game

In a first, Star Sports has introduced female presenters for English and various other regional languages for its coverage of the ICC World Cup 2019.
Star Sports Kannada also features women presenters and they have received a lot of appreciation from the viewers.

Metrolife got in touch with Madhu Mailankody and Reena D’Souza, the Star Sports Kannada presenters, to know more about the nature of their work and the changing times in the world of sports.

Reena D’Souza

How do you feel about being a part of the World Cup?
It is a great opportunity and this is something we were looking forward to from a long time.

Do you think the gender bias in the industry is changing in recent times?            

Indeed. The change started the moment Mandira Bedi held the mic. We did not explore it as an opportunity back then. But the times have changed now.       

Do people recognise and approach you?
Yes. A lot of people walk up to us and tell us how proud they are of us women presenters. There’s motivation from everywhere.

Have you faced any difficulties presenting in Kannada?
Not really. I am a Kannadiga so speaking the language was never a problem. I read Kannada newspapers to stay updated. The channel also sends us materials every day that we can refer to.

Your advice to young presenters.
My only advice will be to read. If you are aware of current affairs, history and major milestones in these areas, I think you are good to go. Constantly reading up about the game and the players also helps.

Madhu Mailankody

This is the first time that so many women presenters are coming on board for the World Cup. How does it feel being one among them?
I am excited as it is a matter of pride. Being a part of the World Cup is a dream come true for any sports presenter.


Madhu Mailankody

Who are the cricket presenters you look up to?
Mayanti Langer, any day. I look up to her not just because she is a woman, but for the hard work and dedication she puts in. She knows the game in and out, despite being a non-cricketer; this is something that inspires me.

Do you fumble for words while presenting in Kannada?
Frankly, I am more comfortable speaking in Kannada than English. I am very conscious while talking in English about getting the language and pronunciation right. But, while presenting in Kannada, it comes to me naturally.

How has the response been so far?
The response has been positive. I am being flooded with motivational messages every day. A lot of youngsters have shown interest in presenting. I am glad that viewers are watching us and liking our content.

You entered the field when there were mostly male anchors. Have you ever faced any gender bias?
Never. As a presenter and host with years of experience, I have learnt that talent is the only thing that matters. If you have what it takes, then nothing can come in your way.

Have you started training young women presenters?
We would love to but I have not really come across many girls interested in sports presentation. Most of them are interested in events or glamorous shows. Reasons for this could be the hard work that goes into sports presentation or the fact that there is not much entertainment here.

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