Claire Polosak to create history by officiating men's cricket match in Australia
What's the story?
Umpire Claire Antonia Polosak will officiate in an official domestic match in the ongoing JLT One-Day Cup in Australia. She will be only the fourth female umpire to conduct a first-class game in men's cricket.
"I never played cricket, which is a little bit interesting for some people. I always followed cricket, my parents got me into it and dad would drive me up from Goulburn to do the umpires' course here," said the 29-year-old, as reported by Cricbuzz.
"To be entrusted with this opportunity is humbling. With my role at Cricket New South Wales working in female umpire engagement, I realise what I do can be incredibly important for other women. We need to see more female umpires officiating at all levels of the game, as this allows others to see there is a path to follow. Hopefully other female umpires will realise that umpiring cricket at the elite level is a real possibility and that they can be involved," she added.
In case you didn't know..
Polosak officiated in international women's cricket last year. Along with colleague Kathy Cross, Polosak was included in the 31-member list of umpires selected for the Women's T20 World Cup in 2016.
She was also a part of the qualifiers of the ICC Women's World Cup that was won by England earlier this year.
The official, who hails from New South Wales, is set to stand for the match between New South Wales and Australia XI on Sunday (October 8).
The list of female umpires to have officiated in men's cricket at the first-class level include: Cross, who hails from New Zealand, Jacqueline Williams from the Caribbean Islands, and Sue Redmond from England
James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia, praised Polosak for her meteoric rise as an umpire of the elite level and wished her luck for Sunday.
Appointments such as these for female umpires across the globe will pave the way for gender-blindness to make its way into the sport, which is tilted heavily towards the men as of now.
If Polosak manages to impress on Sunday, she will carry the baton for other female umpires and make a strong statement for them.
Greece's Eva Asderaki-Moore created history in 2015 by becoming the first female chair umpire in tennis to oversee a men's final, at the US Open. Her appointment and exceptional work in the match made a strong point towards considering female officials for tennis matches at all levels.
Polosak's rise in domestic and international cricket might work similar wonders in cricket. It promises a bright future for women's cricket in a way. It will help in forwarding the feeling of acceptance towards female players as well as officials in the minds of cricket enthusiasts.