Transgender women who have been through male puberty have been barred from international women’s cricket under new regulations announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday.
In September, Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to take part in an official international match.
The 29-year-old Australian-born opening batter moved to Canada in February 2020 and began transitioning medically in May, 2021.
She played men’s club cricket in Melbourne and after moving to Canada drew the attention of Cricket Canada selectors at the country’s women’s inter-provincial tournament, which permits a transgender player to participate based solely on gender self-identification.
She will now be limited to playing at that level after the ICC ruling, which left her devastated.
“Following the ICC’s decision this morning, it is with a very heavy heart that I must say that my international cricketing career is over. As quickly as it begun, it must now end,” McGahey wrote
“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me in my journey, from my all of my teammates, all of the opposition, the cricketing community and my sponsor …
“While I hold my opinions on the ICC’s decision, they are irrelevant. What matters is the message being sent to millions of trans women today, a messaging say that we don’t belong.
“I promise I will not stop fighting for equality for us in our sport, we deserve the right to play cricket at the highest level, we are not a threat to the integrity or safety of the sport.
Never stop fighting!”
Transgender participation has become a hot-button issue as different sports try to balance inclusivity with ensuring fair competition.
International governing bodies in cycling and athletics have also banned transgender competitors.
The ICC board, meeting in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, said the new policy, which takes effect immediately, is aimed at “protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion”.
“Any male to female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken,” it said.
The regulations, which follow a nine-month consultation process, will be reviewed within two years.
The review relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket. The policy at domestic level is a matter for each individual member board.
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “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.
“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.”
– with AFP
Originally published as Aussie reacts as cricket makes bombshell decision on trans players