In its recent board meeting, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has introduced some major policy changes. Firstly, it has decided to introduce equal match-day pay for male and female umpires and will ensure the presence of one neutral umpire in every ICC Women’s Championship series from 2024. Secondly, they have barred transgender women from international women’s cricket matches.
ICC’s decision to have equal pay for both male and female umpires is a groundbreaking decision and a step in the right direction to promote equality in the game. In many tournaments, male umpires have been paid much higher fees to officiate the games compared to their female counterparts.
Take the Hundred as an example. Male umpires were paid 1000 euros per game while female umpires were paid 300 euros to officiate the match. For the finals, the fees were 2500 euros and 1000 euros respectively. There was almost a three times increase in the fees for men. English player Sarah Glenn voiced her criticism against it and said that it’s unfair to be paid less when female umpires are doing the same amount of work.
“It [unequal pay for women’s umpires] does surprise me a little bit, but also we know that we’re trying to work towards getting equal pay,” Glenn said. “From an umpiring position, it’s a similar job and you do have the same pressures, so hopefully that changes quite soon and they get that equal pay like we are getting now.”
The decision to reverse this practice is welcoming and will go a long way in promoting equality in the sport and drawing inspiration from the ICC, The Hundred and several other leagues could announce the same.
ICC bans transgender women from playing international cricket
The board has also banned transgender women from playing international cricket. According to the policy, “any male or female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game, regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken”.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) November 21, 2023
They said that the decision is based on the principles of “fairness and inclusivity” and was taken to “protect the integrity of the women’s game.”
They came to this conclusion after a 9-month consultation with the ICC medical advisory committee with the ICC board taking the final decision.
Regarding this, Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said, “The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and is 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.”
In September this year, Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender woman to play international cricket. Originally from Australia, she moved to Canada and underwent a male-to-female medical transition in 2021. She played 6 matches for Canada in this year’s T20 Americas Qualifier.
It is reported that ICC will be evaluating these decisions again after two years.
(Quotes sourced from ICC)
Vaishnavi is a passionate author with an unwavering love for cricket, particularly women’s cricket. Her writing reflects her deep admiration for the sport and her dedication to promoting women’s participation in it. When she’s not following the latest cricket matches, Vaishnavi can be found engrossed in books or enjoying movies.