Cricket council issues formal ban on trans women players after nine-month consultation

Cricket’s governing body has banned trans woman who have “undergone male puberty” from competing in the women’s international game.

On Tuesday (21 November), following a nine-month consultation process, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that its new gender eligibility regulation had been approved by board members.

The new rule states: “Male-to-female participants who have undergone male puberty will not be eligible to compete in the international women’s game.” 

This decision is “irrespective of any surgical or gender reassignment treatment” which a transgender player may have undertaken. 

In a statement, ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said: “The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and are founded in science, aligning 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.”

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The decision comes two months after Canadian Danielle McGahey became the first transgender woman to compete in an international cricket match when she took part in a T20 World Cup qualifier.

McGahey was named by Cricket Canada as part of the country’s squad for the ICC Americas Qualifiers in August, as part of their bid to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Bangladesh.

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At the time, opening batter McGahey said: “I am absolutely honoured. To be able to represent my community is something I never dreamed I would be able to do.”

Following news of the ban being made public, McGahey told BBC Sport: “I have now read the new policy but I was informed by the ICC last week and they let me know what was about to occur. So, I’ve been kept in the loop at all points. 

“I don’t have a lot to say currently but it’s a tough decision to take. Obviously, processing it has been challenging as it marks the end of my international cricket career. It’s obviously incredibly disappointing when I consider the implication it will have on young transgender women all across the world.

“I hope it does not dissuade anyone from chasing their dreams. Trans women belong in sport, and belong in cricket.”

Cricket is the latest sport to ban transgender women from international games, following in the footsteps of cycling, swimming and athletics.

The ICC’s new rules will be reviewed in two years’ time.

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