The International Cricket Council’s decision to appoint four female umpires for the upcoming Women’s World Twenty20 qualifier is being seen as a welcome move. Former England left-arm spinner Sue Redfern, New Zealander Kathleen Cross, Australia’s Claire Polosak and West Indies’ Jacqueline Williams will be seen as umpires in the qualifying tournament that starts from tomorrow in Bangkok.
According to a report by The Guardian, chairperson of ICC Women’s Cricket Committee, Clare Connor lauded this decision as it will help the strategy to increase representation of women in various aspects of the game. “It is a great step forward for the ICC’s overarching strategy with members to increase the representation of women across all aspects of the game,” she said.
England’s Redfern feels this step will make women interested in umpiring, confident. She said, “I feel incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to test my skills and be part of such an important tournament. As a former international player I understand how seeing female umpires is incredibly powerful and demonstrates to women they can undertake any role in cricket they wish.”
From 1995 to 1999, Redfern played six test matches and 15 One Day Internationals.
Featuring in ICC events will inspire aspiring female umpires: CA
The former cricketer also believes that it will be a learning experience for her. She added, “It is important for the game to progress but, at the same time, it’s imperative I perform on-field and deliver to ensure the players get the best experiences. I will be using the time to share ideas with and learn things from others to enhance my skills.”
Australia’s Claire Polosak was a third umpire for the recent Matador BBQs One-Day Cup. This was a big achievement as she became the first woman to officiate a men’s domestic competition in Australia.
Sean Easey, Cricket Australia’s Match Officials Manager believes Polosak is an inspiration to aspiring female umpires. He said, “Claire's dedication and love of the game shines through as her officiating continues to go from strength to strength. Her historic debut in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup as third umpire last month and now featuring in an ICC tournament is an inspiration to other aspiring female cricket umpires.”
The qualifiers will see eight teams, Bangladesh, China, Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and Zimbabwe play against each other. The next Women’s World Twenty20 will be played from March 11 to April 3.Published 27 Nov 2015, 17:04 IST