We recently caught up with one of the pioneers for women in Cricket, Natalie Germanos. One of the best Cricket commentators you'll find, her knowledge and analysis skills are simply brilliant! This is what she had to say.
5 Questions with Natalie Germanos...
TPC: You were the first female lead commentator on radio in SA, what did that achievement feel like, and what are some of the challenges you had to overcome to get to this position?
NG: It was a very fulfilling moment to be on air for the first time. It was a long time goal of mine to become a cricket commentator, so reaching that mark was a great moment for me. But I was always wanting to work as a lead on radio and being afforded that opportunity by the SABC was something very special. It’s been wonderful to live out my dream every day for the last 13 and a half years.
There are challenges in any job and this one is no exception. Gender equality is an issue that needs to be addressed around the world and it has been one of the challenges within sports broadcasting. It is also difficult at times to deal with criticism that comes your way, especially via social media as many people choose rather to remain anonymous and then feel they can send off as much unwarranted criticism as they want.
TPC: Together with Kass Naidoo, you have both become ambassadors for females in the commentary box, what advice can you give to any young girl looking to follow in your footsteps?
NG: The industry is tough but with hard work you can get as far as you want to. It takes many hours of sacrifice and in many ways females have to work harder than their male counterparts but times are changing. And with some hard work and determination any female can be part of shaping that change. You have to also develop a thick skin. There will be criticism that comes your way, sometimes its good feedback and should be used for improvement, other times it is to be ignored.
TPC: You’ve worked with, and listened to many different commentators over your career, who would you say is your favourite commentator?
NG: I have two. Mel Jones of Australia and Micheal Atherton. Both are hard working, their knowledge of the game is phenomenal and they both have a great passion for their jobs. Always enjoy listening to them.
TPC: With the Cricket World Cup approaching less than a year away, there has been a lot of discussion on social media about South Africa’s all-rounders. Out of the current crop of all-rounders in the team selection pool, who do you think should get a World Cup spot and why?
NG: Andile Phehlukwayo has had a very good start to his career. He has also had experience playing in England. He is a good lower order hitter and when he adapts to conditions he is a very good bowler. I think it may be a little early for Willem Mulder in terms of him being part of the World Cup but he has a lot of potential.
JP Duminy is batting better than I have seen in a while and he seems full of confidence. You cannot replace that kind of experience either. He seems to be taking responsibility for the middle order and South Africa will need that in the World Cup next year.
TPC: This has been a great year for associate nations with Ireland & Afghanistan playing their 1st Tests and Nepal their 1st ODI, and after the Women’s World Cup last year, Women’s cricket has definitely been given more attention. What do you think should be done more to grow this great game?
NG: From the womens game point of view, all the relevant boards need to start investing in the development of talent and the development of more players. Simple things now can help, like creating and all-inclusive language. For example, using the term batter and not batsman.
For the men's game, I am interested to see the effect of reducing the World Cup to 10 teams. This could negatively affect the growth of the game. But to avoid it, other ways of pushing the game must be created. Test matches should be made a priority for men and it should be developed in the women's game as well.
It was inspirational to interview Natalie and to hear her answers and her advice, what a champion. Thank you Natalie!