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BLOG: Working in cricket media

Hannah Thompson-Radford outlines the huge number of opportunities for women to work within the cricket media.

Hello, I’m Hannah and I am a sports media freelancer, but I mainly work on cricket for BBC Sport. I’ve also just started a lecturing role at Swansea University where I’ll be teaching the next generation of content creators and sports journalists. I also commentate for Western Storm and The Blaze on their livestreams.

I’ve always had a passion for sports media, I love the recognition it gives someone else; you have an opportunity to tell a story and make the game visible for others to enjoy too. You get to be creative, produce not just stories but also capture moments – which these days you don’t really need specialist equipment for, smart phones do a decent enough job!

I was always the one in my cricket team who was writing up match reports and doing pretend post-match interviews with my teammates. When it became pretty apparent I wasn’t going to make it as a player, I knew I wanted to stay involved with the game through other roles. You can see what roles are available here.

Yet, my media story starts with rejection. When you get rejected in life, it’s easy to get discouraged, but sometimes it’s those experiences that teach you the most or - in my case - rejection opened my world!

Honestly, for those of you who are currently at school, never underestimate the power of Year 10 work experience. I was at Huish Episcopi Academy in Langport, Somerset when I emailed local sports journalist, Richard Walsh. Richard couldn’t take me on, but he helped by getting me a week’s work in Somerset County Cricket Club’s commercial department. There I learnt all about ticketing, memberships and writing for websites. It also led to a summer job for four summers and created a network of people for future career guidance and opportunities. Emails honestly go a long way! 

Hannah commentating from the media suite

It can be difficult to break into sports media, but the biggest tip is to get as much experience as you can, whether that’s formal work experience or creating your own blogs or other media content. Learn what you like doing, what you find easy and the other areas that you perhaps don’t like or what you want to try harder with.

"There are so many different roles within media, if you aren’t a keen writer but love to talk there’s roles as presenters on television, or commentators on radio or livestreams."

The ECB women’s regional competition is a great place to start, with many of the teams requiring people to feature on their livestreams. You can either do ball-by-ball commentary, where you detail everything that is happening - what shot is played, where did the ball go, etc, or you could be the summariser who adds colour to the livestream whilst summarising the action. Colour could be players' stories, facts, and any other context. That’s the part I enjoy the most.

Or, if you’d rather capture content, there’s content creator roles. The Hundred Rising programme is a great way to get your first paid role in cricket media too! 
You could be a camera operator or videographer - perhaps your skillset lends well to documentary making - or you could be behind the scenes as a producer and create cricket shows.

Likewise, if you’d rather be behind a screen typing away, there’s plenty of jobs where you could be writing match previews and match reports. You don’t have to do it all, you could specialise in a particular role.

Honestly, there are so many different roles you can do in sports media, and it’s only going to keep increasing!

In 2018 I got my first paid job in cricket. I worked with Loughborough Lightning in the Kia Super League and loved every moment. For me, there’s nothing better than being part of a team, especially when you get to capture the behind-the-scenes content for both players and fans. I managed the social media output, wrote match previews and reports. It was so much fun for the month-long competition – now there are so many more job roles like this with the increasing professionalism of the women’s game.

My experience with the KSL and my research studies at Loughborough University then took me to the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia. I had the best time assisting several journalists with quotes and writing on the matches.

But then lockdown happened, and like most people I wanted to have a project to keep me going. That’s when Women’s Cricket Chat was founded with fellow sports media friend Alexandra Pereira. We met through The Black Collective of Media in Sport, who were running a diversity programme for people from underrepresented backgrounds such as Black and minority ethnic groups, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities to get into media.

We created something of our own, a podcast that interviewed players and people working in women’s cricket to amplify their voices and get their stories told. It was a bit outside my comfort zone, and it’s always great to try something different.

By getting noticed as someone who was passionate about the women’s game, other opportunities came my way - writing several pieces for The Cricketer and BBC Sport.

Next came The Hundred Rising, a programme where I spent six weeks with the Trent Rockets capturing social media content. Now, I work as a freelancer working with BBC Sport on event social media coverage as well as other organisations.

Hannah working with the Trent Rockets

Then, the full circle moment comes. I’m ending this blog with a nod to where it all began, at Somerset County Cricket Club where I have been doing several commentary stints on the ECB regional competition livestreams for Western Storm. Commentary is something I would never have considered but because of the podcast, Western Storm reached out and here I am, learning new skills and loving where cricket has taken me.

There are so many different roles in cricket media, why not give it a go.