ICC Implements New Policy Restricting Transgender Participation in International Cricket, Cites Safety and Integrity Concerns

In a move reportedly made to “protect the integrity” of the sport and the “safety of players,” the International Cricket Council has moved to ban transgender players from all international matches. 

Ban on Transgender Players

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This week, the International Cricket Council announced its decision to ban all transgender players from international matches, with an exception for players who have not undergone male puberty.

Another Sport Follows

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The decision came after an extensive nine-month-long consultation and scientific review.

Cricket is now the next in a line of international sporting associations that have made the move to restrict transgender players from participating in women’s leagues, including swimming, cycling, rugby league, and rugby union. 

Science and Principles

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Geoff Allardice, the ICC chief executive, has publically addressed the consultation and new changes to ICC regulations.

He explained that it was “founded in science and aligned with the core principles developed during the review.”

Safety and Integrity Come First

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“Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport,” Allardice continued. “But our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.” 

A Big Change

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The policy announcement will make a significant change for cricket players. Just two months ago, Canadian player Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to participate in an international women’s match.

She played in all of Canada’s matches Women’s T20 World Cup Americas region qualifiers event.

It Was Fine at the Time

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McGahey’s inclusion in the event caused significant controversy in the cricketing world, but according to the ICC regulations at the time she satisfied all eligible criteria, including having adequately reduced testosterone levels.

The Future Is Unclear

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Now that the ICC has changed its policies to prioritize “protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion,” it is unclear where transgender players like McGahey will stand as professional athletes.

Male Puberty Will Exclude All Players

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The ICC also added that “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.”

Individual Countries Can Decide

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But this recent decision is not a blanket ban on all women’s cricket. Since the ICC only regulates international women’s cricket, each country will still have the right to dictate how they include or exclude trans players in their domestic matches.

EWC Will Consider It

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A spokesperson for the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced that they will “continue to review our transgender policy, considering inclusivity, safety, and fairness, and will consider these new ICC regulations as part of this work.”

Many Changes in One Year

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The decision from the ICC comes a year after the international boards for swimming and athletics made very similar decisions.

Both passed a majority vote to ban transgender players from international competitions, specifically those players who had undergone male puberty.

McGahey Responds

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McGahey, the most high-profile transgender cricket player, has publically responded to the ICC’s decision saying that she is disappointed but made it clear that she disagreed with the ban and would continue to fight for “equality in sport.”

“We Don’t Belong”

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“It is with a very heavy heart that I must say that my international cricketing career is over,” she shared on social media. “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.”

Never Stop Fighting

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“I promise I will not stop fighting for equality for us in our sport,” her post concluded. “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!”

Two Year Revisions

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While the new regulations seem set in stone for now, the ICC stated that they will be under review every two years.

The post ICC Implements New Policy Restricting Transgender Participation in International Cricket, Cites Safety and Integrity Concerns first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rawpixel.com. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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