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A giant step forward for women umpires

Friday, 27 November 2015
A giant step forward for women umpires

It is entirely appropriate for an ICC global development event that there will be four female umpires standing in an ICC competition for the first time as Claire Polosak, Kathleen Cross, Sue Redfern and Jacqueline Williams will stand alongside Alan Haggo from Scotland and Vanuatu's Nigel Morrison.

New Zealander Kathy Cross, on the ICC Associate and Affiliate panel since 2014, has regularly stood in international tournaments and she said: “I have enjoyed the experience of officiating in different parts of the world, but I have been alone, as a woman, in the middle for quite some time. So, it’s great for all of us to have this opportunity in Thailand this week at such an important tournament.”

Schoolteacher Claire Polosak from Australia commented: “The fact that there are four female umpires at this tournament is not only special to other aspiring female cricket umpires showing there is a real pathway available, but also to anybody who has goals and wants to work hard and achieve them in any facet of their life.”

Former England left-arm spinner Sue Redfern added “I feel incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to test my skills and be part of such an important tournament.”

Jacqueline Williams from Jamaica will make history on her return to Caribbean when she stands in West Indian first-class cricket. “Being the first female from the Caribbean is a humbling feeling and I will do my very best to set a standard that other women will be excited about cricket umpiring and take on the task”.

These are inspiring comments from some wonderful role models in women’s sport and Chair of ICC Women’s Cricket Committee Clare Connor said: “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”. The six umpires will be backed up by ICC match referee Graeme Labrooy and ICC Umpire coach Denis Burns, along with local scorers, Duckworth Lewis managers, media coverage for the Bangkok Post and online scoring is also being provided for the tournament.