In a historic move, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced an all-female panel of match officials for the upcoming T20 World Cup in South Africa starting February 10.
The 13-member panel will comprise 10 umpires and three match referees, and the move is a part of the ICC’s strategic ambition of advancing the involvement and visibility of women in cricket.
In a press release, ICC General Manager Wasim Khan said: “We are thrilled to announce this panel of match officials for the Women’s T20 World Cup. 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."
“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. We are committed to continuing to support our female match officials and provide opportunities to showcase their talents on the global stage. I wish them all the best for the tournament," he further added.
Snehal Pradhan, Manager of ICC, is thrilled with the development and said, "When young women and girls see it, they believe that they can be it. That’s just one of the reasons why having this match officials panel is so special."
“It shows the next generation that there is a career and a pathway that takes them to the very top of the game, the World Cup, even if you’re not a player. It shows that there are so many ways to get involved. The panel this time includes seven first-timers at the Women’s T20 World Cup, and the announcement comes after a constant rise in the number of women officiating in global tournaments," she concluded.
The matches will be played for a fortnight, with the summit clash set to take place on February 26.
Match Officials at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023
Match Referees: GS Lakshmi (India), Shandre Fritz (South Africa), Michell Pereira (Sri Lanka)
Umpires: 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), Nimali Perera (Sri Lanka)