The International Cricket Council (ICC) appointed India’s GS Lakshmi as the first female to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees. Following close on the heels of Claire Polosak, who earlier this month became the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI, Lakshmi will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Eloise Sheridan has joined compatriot Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, taking the number of women on that panel to an unprecedented eight.
Lakshmi, 51, who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has overseen three women’s ODI matches and three women’s T20I matches.
Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees: “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.