Transgender players who have been through male puberty will not be able to play international women’s cricket under new gender eligibility regulations announced by the International Cricket Council.
In September, Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to take part in an official international match when she featured in a Women’s T20 fixture against Brazil.
The 29-year-old opening batter went on to play all six of Canada’s matches during the Women’s T20 World Cup Americas region qualifiers event in Los Angeles, to add to national team appearances previously in fixtures which did not hold official ICC status.
Transgender athletes have been banned from taking part in elite women’s competitions in other sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, rugby league and rugby union.
Under the ICC’s previous regulations, which were effective from October 2018 and amended in April 2021, McGahey had satisfied all of the eligibility criteria.
However, following an ICC board meeting, new gender regulations have been announced, which follow a nine-month consultation process with the sport’s stakeholders.
The ICC said 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”.
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
The review, led by the ICC medical advisory committee and chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket.
Gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual member board, which the ICC notes “may be impacted by local legislation”. The regulations will be reviewed within two years.
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.”
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