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 on Tuesday.
The regulations state that transgender women will not be allowed to compete regardless of whether or not they have undergone surgery or gender reassignment treatment.
In September, Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to take part in an official international match.
The ICC said it was taking the decision to protect the integrity of international women’s game and the safety of players.
In a statement after its Board meeting in Ahmedabad, the ICC said, “The ICC Board approved new gender eligibility regulations for the international game following a nine-month consultation process with the sport’s stakeholders.
“The new policy is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion, and this means 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.”
International governing bodies in cycling, swimming, rugby and athletics have also banned transgender competitors in women’s events.
For example, World Athletic, the governing body for track and field, also ruled that to compete as a woman, athletes must have a testosterone level below 2.5 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) for at least 24 months before an international competition.
South African runner Caster Semeneya was barred from competing precisely for this reason as testosterone levels in her body were more than the prescribed limit.
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.”
Meanwhile, the international cricket board’s Chief Executives’ Committee endorsed a plan to accelerate the development of women match officials, which includes equal match-day pay for ICC umpires across men’s and women’s cricket, and ensuring there is one neutral umpire in every ICC Women’s Championship series from January next year.
(With inputs from AFP)