Eight women among 15 Match Officials named for ICC World Cup 2022
Kim Cotton, Claire Polosak and Jacquline Williams © Getty Images
Eight women feature in the list of 15 Match Officials named for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, which is to be played across six venues in New Zealand from 4 March to 3 April.
The International Cricket Council’s commitment to supporting women officials reflects in the appointments, with several making their ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup debuts, starting with the tournament opener between the West Indies and hosts New Zealand at the Bay Oval in Tauranga.
Former South Africa player Shandré Fritz, who featured in the 2005, 2009, and 2013 World Cups, will be the Match Referee in a Women’s World Cup match for the first time in the opener, as will her compatriot Lauren Agenbag, the first woman from her country to umpire a T20I International.
Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid (on-field), Alex Wharf (third umpire), and Sue Redfern (fourth umpire) will be the other officials for the match.
Apart from Agenbeg, Fritz, and Redfern, the other women officiating in the tournament are Match Referee GS Lakshmi and Umpires Kim Cotton, Claire Polosak, Eloise Sheridan, and Jacqueline Williams.
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Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager – Umpires and Referees, said the appointments were part of ICC’s policy of nurturing the best available talent in different countries. “We are proud to announce eight women Match Officials in our team for the tournament. We had six women Match Officials at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020 and the steady upward path is as per our plans and keeping with our long-term vision.
“It is good to have a good mix of experience and it is heartening to note the number of firsts for women officials in recent years. I wish all the Match Officials the very best and am confident that we will have fine adjudication during the tournament.”
Lakshmi, who was the first woman to be named in the ICC International Panel of Match Referees in 2019, will make her Women’s World Cup debut in the second match of the eight-team tournament, while Polosak, Redfern, and Williams, all pathbreakers too, will stand in their second Women’s World Cups.
Polosak was the first woman to stand in a Men’s ODI, Redfern the first to have both played and stood in the Women’s World Cup, while Williams was the first woman to officiate as the Third Umpire in a men’s ODI.
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“But while we have been continuously increasing the number of women officials, there have been no concessions and all of them deserve to be there. The appointments are based on merit, and they have made it to the top level because of their skill and perseverance," Griffith added.
Paul Wilson, Langton Rusere, Ahmad Shah Pakteen, and Ruchira Palliyaguruge are the other experienced officials in the tournament while two New Zealanders - Umpire Kim Cotton and Match Referee Gary Baxter – also feature in the list of three Match Referees and 12 Umpires.
Match Referees: Gary Baxter, GS Lakshmi, Shandré Fritz.
Umpires: Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Ahmad Shah Pakteen, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Claire Polosak, Suzanne Redfern, Langton Rusere, Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid, Eloise Sheridan, Alexander Wharf, Jacqueline Williams, Paul Wilson.
The postings for the semifinals will be announced at the end of the round-robin stage, while those for the final will be made after the semifinals.