The International Cricket Council on Tuesday named G.S. Lakshmi as the first woman on the international panel of match referees, making her eligible to take control of men’s games.
The 51-year-old Lakshmi, who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has overseen three women’s one-day internationals and three Twenty20s.
Her appointment came just after Australia’s Claire Polosak became the first woman umpire in a men’s ODI last month.
“To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new avenues,” Lakshmi said in an ICC statement. “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.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s Eloise Sheridan has joined Polosak on the ICC’s umpires development panel, taking the number of women on the body that provides umpires for all internationals to eight.
Sheridan was the reserve umpire for two matches in the Men’s Big Bash League 2018-19 and umpired four matches in the Women’s Big Bash League the same year. In October 2018, she became the first woman in Australia to umpire a men’s first grade Premier Cricket final.
“As a player, cricket allowed me to travel, meet wonderful people and share a mutual love for the game,”Sheridan said in an ICC statement. “It is great now to be able to continue my involvement in cricket in a different role, and give something back to the game that has been such a big part of my life. “
“I couldn’t take up opportunities like this without the continued support of the South Australian Cricket Association and Cricket Australia, as well as my very understanding partner.”
Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees, welcomed both women into the fold.“We welcome Lakshmi and Eloise to our panels, which is an important step forward in our commitment to encouraging women officials. It is heartening to see their progress and I am sure many more women will be inspired to follow their example. I wish them all the best for a long and enjoyable career.
“We are committed to ensuring greater gender parity among our officials, but all appointments are made purely on merit. Elevation is as a result of a thorough evaluation process that identifies the most talented match officials breaking through to an international level. It is pleasing that through consistent high performance we are able to add more women to our panels. “