Speakers Profile - Mel Jones

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Born in the UK, Mel at just 3 months old and her Australian mum arrived back in Melbourne with her West Indian father staying in the UK.

Playing alongside modern cricketing greats such as Karen Rolton and Belinda Clark and against Charlotte Edwards and Jhulan Goswami, Jones played in a dominant era of Australian cricket internationally. Jones was a middle-order batter and first tasted major success as a part of Australia's win in the 1997 Women's Cricket World Cup against New Zealand at Eden Gardens, Kolkata in front of 70,000.

On her test match debut Jones hit 131 on Australia's Ashes tour of England, and was also a part of the victorious home Women's Ashes series win of 2003. Closing out her professional playing career in dramatic fashion, Jones was again a part of Australia's 2005 Women's Cricket World Cup final title win in South Africa. Jones also had a reputation as one of the world's finest fielders.

During her playing days, Mel used her teaching degree to juggle her career on the field by working in cricket development in not only Australia but also South Africa and England. After retiring from her playing career, Jones has focused on the next chapter of her professional career that has aimed to support, develop and expand opportunities and careers for women in sport both on and off the cricket field.

In 2015 after becoming one of the four first-ever female commentators to be included in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's most attended and watched cricket league, she moved full time into sports commentary in 2018. Her inclusion into the men's and women's Big Bash broadcast lead to her becoming the first female cricket lead in the T20 format in Australia. This was then followed by the same accolade in the Pakistan Super League in 2017.

In 2018, Mel was announced as part of Fox Sport's Cricket team, where she is a now part of the coverage alongside some of the biggest names in the game. And has lead calls including men's and women's world cups and the enthralling 2023 men's and women's Ashes series for Sky Sport.

As a former talent manager of some of Australia's biggest sporting stars, Mel has also worked and volunteered for various roles across women in sport task forces as well as joining the board of Bowls Australia. In January of 2019, Jones was presented with one of Australia's highest honours; the Medal of the Order of Australia for services towards cricket and the community. Later that year in November, Jones took on a new role as a Director on the board of Cricket Australia.

Mel is a regular when it comes to getting involved in charity work and initiatives surrounding equality. Mel is currently an ambassador for Victoria University and Red Dust Role Models.

"I want to make it (sport) as inclusive as possible for everybody and it has been shut off to a lot of people for a very, very long time."