Sue Redfern Breaks Barriers


The ICC-appointed female umpires will get match-day pay parity with their male counterparts on the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and receive comparable perks…reports Asian Lite News

England’s Sue Redfern will become the first female neutral umpire appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in a bilateral series after being named for the upcoming ICC Women’s Championship and T20I fixtures between Australia and South Africa.

Sue’s appointment follows the ICC’s decision to appoint one neutral umpire for all ICC Women’s Championship series as well as any T20I matches scheduled between two same opponents. The move will ensure some neutrality in running matches while also keeping in mind the long-term development of female umpires.

“It’s an honour to be named by the ICC as its first official female neutral umpire and I’m very excited about the upcoming series between Australia and South Africa. This is a defining moment for both women’s cricket and female cricket officials, who have worked hard and been given development opportunities in recent years.”

“I’ve seen the landscape evolve for female officials and how many are now being recognised and supported across many countries. I am sure this appointment can help build momentum and visibility to help further develop female officials across the world in the future. Personally, I would like to thank the ICC and the ECB for their support over the years and I look forward to more such appointments,” said Sue in the ICC statement.

Sue played in six Tests and 15 ODIs for England between 1995 and 1999, including four in the 1997 Women’s ODI World Cup in India. Post the end of her playing career, Sue has been on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires since 2016. She has officiated in two ICC Women’s ODI Cricket World Cups (2017 and 2022) and three ICC Women’s T20 World Cups (2018, 2022 and 2024).

The ICC said it will prioritise female officials for the neutral umpires’ role in ICC Women’s Championship series. The ICC-appointed female umpires will get match-day pay parity with their male counterparts on the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and receive comparable perks.

The female neutral umpires will be selected on merit and more of them will find themselves in the ICC International Panel of Umpires in the coming years, as part of ICC’s strategic ambition to advance the involvement and visibility of women both on and off field within the game.

“This is a watershed moment for women’s cricket as we look to both implement a female match officials’ pathway programme and accelerate officiating opportunities for our very best performers.”

“Neutral appointments will give female umpires more exposure to different conditions and will support the learning and development of local female umpires who officiate alongside them.”

“Last year we had the first all-female match officials’ panel at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa and so it is important that we build on that momentum through a combination of development and high-quality opportunities,” said Wasim Khan, ICC’s General Manager of Cricket.

Meanwhile, In a ground-breaking decision in last November, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced equal pay for female match officials, signalling its commitment to gender equality in cricket.

The reforms include the equalisation of match-day pay for ICC umpires, regardless of whether they are officiating men’s or women’s cricket matches.

The initiative, which is set to be implemented in January 2024, marks a pivotal moment in cricket’s history, as it takes another stride towards equal opportunities in the sport.

The Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) also recommended including at least one neutral umpire in every series of the ICC Women’s Championship, in line with the long-standing practice in men’s international cricket.

“The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and are founded in science, aligning with the core principles developed during the review,” remarked ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice.

The ICC Board also approved new gender eligibility regulation for women’s cricket according to which male-to-female participants who have undergone male puberty will not be eligible to compete in the international women’s game, irrespective of any surgical or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.

ICC will revisit these regulations within two years to align with the sport’s evolving landscape. At the domestic level, though, these regulations will remain under the jurisdiction of individual member boards.

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