ICC’s recent policy change prohibits transgender women, post-male puberty, from participating in international women’s cricket, prioritizing game integrity and player safety.

On November 21st, the ICC made a pivotal ruling, preventing individuals who experienced male puberty from playing in international women’s cricket, emphasizing game integrity and player safety. This decision, after extensive consultation, prioritizes safeguarding the women’s game’s fairness and inclusivity. Regardless of surgery or gender reassignment, those transitioning from male to female, after male puberty, are ineligible.

“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,” the statement from ICC read.

The ICC’s decision to enforce these changes was influenced by cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympics. An ICC source revealed that as cricket becomes an Olympic sport, it must align with the Olympic guidelines, especially regarding gender inclusion, a global concern. Following the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) advice, the ICC adopted regulations.

Similarly, World Athletics (WA) had also prohibited transgender women, post-male puberty, from participating in women’s events at international competitions. These new regulations, in effect from March 31, 2023, aims to ensure alignment with broader Olympic standards in sports.

The ICC entrusted domestic-level regulations to individual Member Boards while focusing on international standards. Led by Dr. Peter Harcourt, the ICC Medical Advisory Committee conducted a review exclusively for international women’s cricket, leaving domestic gender eligibility to local board discretion, potentially influenced by local laws. These regulations will undergo reevaluation within two years.

Geoff Allardice, ICC’s Chief Executive, emphasized that the changes stemmed from extensive consultations, scientifically grounded and aligned with review principles.

“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,” said Allardice.

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Last Updated on November 22, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter