Topic: Cricket

First Māori wahine to commentate cricket test match

By Eru Paranihi
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Former White Ferns captain Maia Lewis has created history by becoming the first Māori woman to commentate an international cricket test match.

Lewis was one of three women welcomed by seasoned commentators to call the Black Caps v West Indies match in Hamilton.

Lewis (Ngāti Whātua) says, “The whole process was intimidating, [you're] outside your comfort zone.”

“Everyone was going 'oh, it's an old boys club'. [[but] all the guys were supportive.”

It was Lewis' expertise as a former player that ultimately saw her given the nod to call.

“There are very few Māori women that play cricket, and have done in the past, so I'm probably paving the way in that sense,” says Lewis.

“There are women commentators around in New Zealand, not necessarily in cricket.  The likes of Melody Robinson- who is a huge mentor of mine.”

Australia's Channel 9 network was recently criticised after they named a commentary team which lacked diversity.

“That's just them being very traditional with the Ashes," says Lewis, "But times have changed, they've got a couple of female commentators, with Mel Jones and Lisa Sthalekar sitting on their doorstep.”

Not only was the match a milestone for Lewis, but history was created when Ross Taylor notched up his 17th century.

“I think it's huge for New Zealand cricket as well as him personally- with his current captain Kane Williamson, and his mentor Martin Crowe who passed away recently - equalling their record.”

After a successful stint, Lewis has secured a spot on the commentary team for the White Ferns international matches starting in March.