By Victor Kanayo
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned transgender players from competing in Women’s tournaments.
According to ICC, those banned include players who have gone through male puberty, regardless of any surgery or treatment undertaken.
The new policy, unanimously approved by the ICC board on Tuesday, takes effect immediately.
Specically, Canada’s Danielle McGahey, who in September, became the first transgender cricketer to play an official international game, is now banned from participating in the elite women’s game.
In September 2023, McGahey, who underwent a male-to-female medical transition in 2021, played for Canada in the Women’s T20 Americas Qualifier, the pathway tournament to the 2024 T20 World Cup.
The 29-year-old batter, originally from Australia, had fulfilled the previous gender eligibility criteria, which was in place then, by reducing her testosterone levels.
She played all six of Canada’s matches during the World Cup qualifing event in Los Angeles, scoring 118 runs at an average of 19.66 and a strike rate of 95.93.
Reason For New Policy
The cricket governing body said the new rules, following a nine-month consultation process with sports’ stakeholders, was based on “protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion”.
“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,” ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said.
“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.
“The new regulations currently apply to international women’s cricket only.
“The gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual Member board, which may be impacted by local legislation and the regulations will be reviewed within two years,” ICC medical advisory committee Dr Peter Harcourt who led the review said.
Before Cricket Move
World Rugby, World Aquatics, World Athletics and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) are other sports bodies that have banned transgender athletes from international women’s competitions citing safety and fairness concerns in recent years.
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