Today another male bastion has been breached with the appointment of Claire Polosak as 1st woman umpire to officiate in men’s Test cricket. She is performing her duties as the fourth umpire in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Venturing into male-dominated spheres of cricket is not new to Claire as she is also the first woman umpire in men’s ODI and the first female umpire in domestic men’s game. In 2016, New Zealand’s Kathy Cross and Polosak became the first two female umpires to officiate at the Women’s World T20.
In December 2018, she and colleague Eloise Sheridan became the first female umpires to officiate on-field together during a professional match in Australia when Adelaide Strikers faced Melbourne Stars in the Women’s Big Bash League. In 2019, she officiated the final of the World Cricket League (WCL) between Namibia and Oman. Polasak was also part of the umpiring panel at the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Claire Polosak all set to become the first female to officiate men’s Test during Australia-India Sydney Test 🙌#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/fE8dT9fpUw
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) January 6, 2021
Claire Polosak, who hails from New South Wales, is part of Cricket Australia’s supplementary umpire panel and the ICC development umpire panel. Her international umpiring career began in 2015 with her appointment to the ICC women’s T20 qualifying tournament in Thailand, where she stood in eight matches including the final.
As per ICC rules, the fourth umpire is appointed by the home cricket board from their nominees to the International Panel of ICC Umpires and from the host country. The fourth umpire has duties related to pitch preparation, equipment changes, supporting the on-field umpires, observing the pitch during the intervals to make sure there is no interference, and so on.
The ICC Women’s @T20WorldCup Global Qualifiers will make history with an all-female umpiring panel to officiate in Scotland from 31 August to 7 September. @AusWomenCricket‘s Claire Polosak and Eloise Sheridan are among the appointments.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 27, 2019
Talking about her career, Claire revealed it once on ESPN Cricinfo, “I never played cricket, but I always followed cricket and my parents got me into it. Dad used to drive me up from Goulburn to do the umpires course here. It took a few times to pass but it was something I was determined to do and I just kept working through the grades in the Sydney competition. I’ve probably had to work a little bit harder but it’s all part of the enjoyment and being able to do well makes it even better. It just shows there is a pathway now, there are increased opportunities.”
In addition to her experience in the men’s game, Claire has also officiated in 20 Women’s ODI’s including three as the third umpire, and 38 Women’s T20I’s of which five were as the third umpire.
Female Cricket congratulates Claire Polosak and wishes her all the luck for achieving many more milestones in her career.
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