Sharda Ugra has been a sports journalist for over 25 years in which she has worked across a range of media; print (tabloid, broadsheet and news magazines), radio (Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s overseas service), and online. She is currently senior editor at ESPNcricinfo, the world’s biggest independent single-sport website. Sharda has covered and reported on a range of sports in Iran, China, Port of Spain and Peshawar. The majority of her writing has revolved around cricket. She has written about cricket for popular and academic publications in India, England and Australia. She has worked with former New Zealand cricket captain John Wright and Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh on their memoirs in cricket and has won several awards for sports writing.
Her interest in the sport extends beyond conventional reportage of events and personalities. Every cricket series – be it India v Pakistan, Australia v South Africa, England v the West Indies – has beneath it layers of a more significant story that requires constant exploration. Cricket’s social and cultural context in nations where it is played is in itself unique. In various parts of the world, the meanings derived from the same game are distinct and singular – some remain rooted in tradition, others represent transformation. The engagement between nations through the game, Sharda believes, can, often through a single incident, interrogate politics, economics and social histories.
The role of Australia’s growing South Asian community in its cricketing eco system and whether the transformation in Australia’s immigration patterns – with a recent shift towards the Indian subcontinent, rather than South Asia - will be felt within its cricket in the decades to follow.