In a significant policy move, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Tuesday that transgender cricketers are prohibited from participating in women’s cricket at the highest level. Transgender players who have experienced any form of male puberty will be barred from competing in international women’s games, regardless of whether they have undergone surgery or gender reassignment treatment, according to The Guardian.

The ICC stated that the decision was made to safeguard the integrity of international women’s cricket and the safety of players. The new policy was finalized after a nine-month consultation process with cricket stakeholders, with the board making the final decision.

Geoff Allardice, the CEO of the ICC, explained the decision, saying, ”The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and are founded in science and aligned with the core principles developed during the review. Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”

When asked about the trigger for the ICC’s decision, a source mentioned that it was due to ”cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympics.”

“Since cricket will be an Olympic sport, it has to be governed by the Olympic guidelines. This gender issue is a huge one at the global level. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has changed regulations and advised sports to implement regulations that are suitable for their sport, which is what we have done,” explained an ICC source.

The decision comes two months after Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to participate in an official international match during a Women’s T20 fixture against Brazil. However, under the new policy, she will no longer be eligible for women’s international games.

It’s important to note that, as of now, these rules pertain to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket only. ”The gender eligibility at the domestic level is a matter for each individual Member board, which may be impacted by local legislation,” stated the ICC.

Transgender athletes have faced bans in other sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, rugby league, and rugby union from participating in elite women’s competitions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *