In less than a couple of weeks, one of the biggest cricketing events in the women’s circuit is all set to unfurl as the T20 World Cup for women starts on February 10th in South Africa. The tournament promises to be an exciting one, with some of the best teams in the world competing for the coveted title. But, what has caught the attention of many cricket enthusiasts around the globe is the ICC’s landmark move to have an all-woman panel of match officials for the tournament.
The panel comprises 13 members in all, and is inclusive of three match referees and 10 umpires, on-field and on television, from various countries. Out of the 13 women officials named for the Women’s T20 World Cup, 3 are from India. GS Lakshmi will be one of 3 referees in the competition and Vrinda Rathi (India), as well as N Janani (India), will act as umpires. This is a huge step forward for women in cricket, as they will have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the global stage.
This move by the ICC is not only a positive step in terms of diversity and inclusion, but it also represents a significant step forward in the development of women’s cricket. The panel will feature 4 extra female match officials than that of the 9 at the current Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup, making it the largest group of female match officials in an international ICC competition. This is a clear indication that the ICC is committed to empowering and increasing the visibility of women in the sport.
ICC’s General Manager of Cricket, Wasim Khan, spoke about this landmark move, saying, “Women’s cricket has been growing rapidly in recent years and as part of that, we have been building the pathways to ensure more women have the opportunity to officiate at the highest level. This announcement is a reflection of our intent in this space and just the start of our journey where men and women enjoy the same opportunities across our sport.” He further added, “We are committed to continuing to support our female match officials and provide opportunities to showcase their talents on the global stage. I wish them all the best for the tournament.”
This move by the ICC is a positive one and it is hoped that it will open up more opportunities for women to get involved in cricket as match officials. Cricket is a sport that is loved by millions of people around the world, and it is important that it is inclusive and accessible to all. The ICC’s decision to have an all-woman panel of match officials for the T20 World Cup is a step in the right direction, and it is hoped that this will lead to more women being involved in the sport at all levels.