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Cricket Australia launches inclusive policy for transgender players

Aryan Surana
ANALYST
News
08 Aug 2019, 13:21 IST

Erica James, a transgender can now play cricket at the highest level, free of any restrictions.
Erica James, a transgender can now play cricket at the highest level, free of any restrictions.

In a path-breaking decision to herald inclusiveness, Cricket Australia released an elite-level policy supporting transgender and gender-diverse players to play cricket at the highest level in Australia on Wednesday, August 7th. The sport's national governing body also implied guidelines for community cricket to ensure effective grassroots implementation.

In a promotional video posted on Twitter yesterday by Cricket Australia, Erica James, a transgender cricketer, announced the revolutionary development. James said,

"The moment I realized I could play in a team of women like me I was so surprised and so happy. Because of these guidelines, gender diverse people can play a sport that we love without feeling like we're an imposter."

Australian cricketer Megan Schutt, who is one of the biggest representatives of the LGBTQ community and recently married partner Jess Holyoake, welcomed the move.

"To have a policy and guidelines that include transgender and gender diverse players will create a better environment for everybody to play the game.
"Now that we know that anyone who is transgender or gender diverse has a chance to play cricket at the highest level - and rightfully so - I'm confident that the elite cricket policy will provide a fair process for transgender and gender diverse cricketers to embark on that pathway."

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts stressed the importance of providing a fair and meaningful competition to gender-diversified athletes, which in his opinion could only be achieved by setting a benchmark for testosterone levels.

“There’s an overarching spirit of inclusion. Discrimination and harassment of any sort has no place in the game.
“Our dedication to a fair and inclusive sport across international and domestic competitions sees the policy strike a balance between the opportunity to participate and ensuring fair competition.”
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The ingenious move has received appreciation from cricketers and associations alike.

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