New Delhi, May 14 : India's GS Lakshmi has become the first-ever woman referee to be appointed on the ICC International Panel of Match Referees, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said in a press release on Tuesday.
Lakshmi, 51, who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has overseen three women’s ODI matches and three women’s T20I matches. "To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new avenues," Lakshmi said.
''I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ICC, officials at the BCCI, my seniors in the cricketing circuit, my family and colleagues who have supported me over the years. I hope to live up to their expectations by doing my job to the best of my ability," she added.
Following close on the heels of Claire Polosak, who earlier this month became the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI, Lakshmi will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect.
“We welcome Lakshmi and Eloise to our panels, which is an important step forward in our commitment to encouraging women officials. It is heartening to see their progress and I am sure many more women will be inspired to follow their example. I wish them all the best for a long and enjoyable career,'' said Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees.
“We are committed to ensuring greater gender parity among our officials, but all appointments are made purely on merit. Elevation is as a result of a thorough evaluation process that identifies the most talented match officials breaking through to an international level. It is pleasing that through consistent high performance, we are able to add more women to our panels,'' Griffith added.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Eloise Sheridan has joined compatriot Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, taking the number of women on that panel to an unprecedented eight. UNI