Female Umpires to Make History in India at ICC World T20

Claire Polosak - Female Umpire 2016The ICC World Twenty20 is set to be hosted in India next month. India, along with the world cricketing community will be making history. For the first time, there will be two female umpires officiating at the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 cricket tournament.

Claire Polosak, an Australian, and Kathy Cross, a New Zealander, will both be umpires during the ICC World Twenty20 women’s matches. The women’s matches will be running throughout March and April, as will the men’s matches.

In October 2015, the 27-year-old Polosak was named as the third umpire in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup. She made history as the first female umpire to have officiated in a senior men’s cricket competition in Australia.

It is an exciting change that women are being included in umpiring roles. The criteria are clearly changing, and rather than being only open to qualified men, qualified women are now also being considered as cricket umpires.

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer, commented on Polosak’s appointment to the ICC World Twenty20.

He said: “Claire’s dedication and love of the game shines through as her officiating continues to go from strength to strength. Her historic debut in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup as third umpire late last year and now featuring in such a prestigious ICC tournament is an inspiration to other aspiring female cricket umpires.”

Polosak did not get to this place by sitting back and watching things unfold. She has climbed her way up as an umpire of Sydney grade cricket, the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League, and the WNCL. She first umpired at the age of 15, and has been moving ahead ever since. Polosak hopes to umpire for Test matches one day.

Polosak commented: “If I continue to work hard the opportunities will come. There is a really good statistic that there have been more female astronauts than there have been Test umpires.”