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Old 2nd August 2007, 22:20   #197
Michelle Fivefer
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: North West England
Team(s): England, Lancashire
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Alison Mitchell to commentate on an ODI

Another item from Simon Briggs's column in today's Telegraph.

(I have dealt with the other items in separate threads).

Back in April, there was a lot of fuss about Jacqui Oatley's commentary debut on Match of the Day. A woman! Talking about football? Outrageous!

So Scotland's ambulance staff should prepare for a busy day on Aug 16, when Alison Mitchell will be providing TV commentary for the one-day international between Scotland and India in Glasgow. When it comes to conservatism, cricket-lovers can teach football fans a thing or two.

Mitchell was 21 when she got her first taste of cricket broadcasting, making coffee for Richie Benaud as a runner for TV production company Sunset + Vine. Now 27, she has worked for the BBC Asian Network and covered countless county games for Radio Five Live.

But her big break came in March - albeit in unfortunate circumstances - when she was the only BBC representative on the island of Jamaica at the time of Bob Woolmer's tragic death. Mitchell worked around the clock to cover the story for every BBC network under the sun, impressing the top brass with her command of the subject. Now she has been given her chance on this BBC Scotland production, which is being picked up by ESPN and broadcast to millions across Asia.

Women have broken into the TV commentary boxes before, notably the former England captains Clare Connor and Rachael Heyhoe Flint, but they have usually worked as summarisers - sidekicks, in other words. As a career broadcaster who will be anchoring the coverage alongside Jonathan Agnew, Mitchell comes from a different category altogether. And about time too.
Alison Mitchell was also the journalist to whom Bob Woolmer spoke in his final interview. Some of us on here noticed the excellent work she was doing during the World Cup and speculated that her profile would be raised because of it. Congratulations to Alison and I wish her success on her international debut.
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