First woman named to world panel of cricket match referees

International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive David Richardson addresses a media conference following the conclusion of the ICC Board meetings in Kolkata, India, Thursday, April 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates  An Indian became the first woman to be appointed to the international panel of cricket match referees.

The International Cricket Council says in a statement 51-year-old GS Lakshmi “will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect.”

This month, Claire Polosak became the first female umpire to officiate in a men’s one-day international.

Lakshmi first officiated as a match referee in Indian domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09 and has overseen three women’s one-day internationals and three women’s Twenty20s.

“We are committed to ensuring greater gender parity among our officials, but all appointments are made purely on merit,” Adrian Griffith, the ICC senior manager for umpires and referees, said.

“It is pleasing that through consistent high performance we are able to add more women to our panels.”

Eloise Sheridan joined Australian compatriot Polosak on the ICC development panel of umpires, which consists now of eight women members.

ICC. (Photo: Twitter/@ICC)

Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Shivani Mishra, Sue Redfern, Mary Waldron and Jacqueline Williams are the other women officials.

“To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new avenues,” Lakshmi said.

“I have had a long career as a cricketer in India and also as a match referee. I hope to put my experience both as a player and as a match official to good use on the international circuit.”