DUBAI: In a landmark development, an all-female panel of match officials has been announced by the International Council Council (ICC) on Friday for the upcoming Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa.
For the first time in the history of the game, a panel comprised solely of woman umpires and match referees will officiate at an ICC global tournament.
“Three match referees and 10 umpires will officiate the flagship women’s event in South Africa next month as part of the ICC’s strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket,” an ICC statement said
The match referees are GS Lakshmi (India), Shandre Fritz (South Africa) and Michell Pereira (Sri Lanka). The on-field and TV umpires will be Sue Redfern (England), Eloise Sheridan (Australia), Claire Polosak (Australia), Jacqueline Williams (West Indies), Kim Cotton (new Zealand), Lauren Agenbag (South Africa), Anna Harris (England), Vrinda Rathi (India), N Janani (India) and Nimali Perera (Sri Lanka).
“Women’s cricket has been growing rapidly in recent years and as part of that, we have been building the pathways to ensure more women have the opportunity to officiate at the highest level,” said ICC’s general manager of cricket Wasim Khan. “This announcement is a reflection of our intent in this space and just the start of our journey where men and women enjoy the same opportunities across our sport”
It must be noted here that the eighth edition of Women’s T20 World Cup will take place from February 10 to 26. hosts South Africa will take on Sri Lanka in Newlands, Cape Town in the opening match. Pakistan will play their first match in Group B against arch-rivals India on February 12.