The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced new gender eligibility regulations that will prohibit transgender athletes who have undergone male puberty from participating in international women's cricket. These rules come following a nine-month consultation process with various stakeholders in the sport. The ICC explained that the decision was made to prioritize the integrity and safety of the women's game while also ensuring fairness and inclusion.
Previously, transgender cricketer Danielle McGahey from Canada had satisfied the ICC's eligibility criteria and became the first transgender cricketer to compete in an official international match back in September. However, under the new regulations, any male-to-female participants who have experienced any form of male puberty, regardless of any gender reassignment treatment or surgeries they may have undergone, will not be eligible to partake in the international women's game.
The ICC, in collaboration with the medical advisory committee led by Dr Peter Harcourt, conducted a thorough review focusing solely on gender eligibility in international women's cricket. Individual member boards will oversee gender eligibility standards at the domestic level, taking into account relevant local legislation. The regulations will be reviewed within two years to evaluate their effectiveness.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice emphasized the importance of inclusivity in sports but stressed that protecting the integrity of the international women's game and ensuring player safety were critical priorities. The decision to implement these regulations is founded in scientific research and aligns with the core principles established during the review.
Transgender athletes have previously faced exclusion from participating in elite women's competitions in various sports, including swimming, cycling, athletics, rugby league, and rugby union. While these regulations may be seen as limiting for transgender individuals, they aim to address concerns surrounding fairness and maintain the integrity of women's cricket at the international level.