MUMBAI (Reuters) – Australia’s Claire Polosak will become the first woman to officiate in a men’s one-day international when Namibia play Oman in the final of the World Cricket League Division 2 in Windhoek later on Saturday.
The 31-year-old never played cricket but blazed a trail in 2017 when she became the first woman to stand in a men’s top-level match when New South Wales played a Cricket Australia XI in a one-day match in Sydney.
“I am thrilled to be the first woman to stand in a men’s ODI and how far I have come as an umpire,” Polosak told the International Cricket Council (ICC) ahead of Saturday’s match.
“It really is important to promote women umpires and there’s no reason why females can’t umpire in cricket. It’s about breaking down barriers, creating awareness so more females can come into the role.”
Polosak has officiated in 15 women’s ODIs, the first one in November 2016 between Australia and South Africa, and has also taken field in the semi-final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2018 between England and India and four matches at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
Namibia and Oman both secured ODI status after finishing in the top two positions of the table in the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.
“Congratulations to Claire for this fantastic achievement of becoming the first woman umpire to stand in a men’s one-day international,” said Adrian Griffith, ICC senior manager – umpires and referees.
“It is one thoroughly deserved and a result of her hard work and perseverance. She is a role model for women who want to get into officiating and proves how successful they can be once they are on the right path and get the opportunities.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)