India’s GS Lakshmi has become the first-ever woman referee to be appointed on the ICC International Panel of Match Referees, the Board announced in a press release on Tuesday (May 14).
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. She will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect.
“To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new avenues. 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," Lakshmi said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ICC, officials at the BCCI, my seniors in the cricketing circuit, my family and colleagues who have supported me over the years. I hope to live up to their expectations by doing my job to the best of my ability.”
Lakshmi’s appointment follows close on the heels of Claire Polosak, who recently became the first female umpire to stand in a men’s One-Day International.
Australia’s Eloise Sheridan has also joined compatriot Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, which now has eight women officials. Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Shivani Mishra, Sue Redfern, Mary Waldron and Jacqueline Williams are some of the other names on the panel.
“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," said Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees.
“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."
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