The International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned biological male players from participating in international women’s cricket. The move against transgender competitors who “identify” with the other sex has been made to protect the safety of female players.
The decision means any male-to-female participants who have been through male puberty will not be eligible to take part in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.
In a statement released on Tuesday morning, the governing body concluded that they had made the decision following a nine-month consultation process to protect the safety of female players. The ICC declared:
The new policy is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion, and this means any Male to Female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.
The review, which was led by the ICC Medical Advisory Committee chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket, whilst gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual Member Board, which may be impacted by local legislation.
The regulations will be reviewed within two years.
Cricket joins athletics, cycling, swimming and rugby in banning men from taking part in elite women’s competitions at international level.
However, the ICC statement confirms domestic boards will be given the final say on player eligibility for their own competitions.
The move comes after parents challenged a “middle-aged” biological male who identifies as a female being allowed to compete in English cricket matches against girls as young as 12, as Breitbart News reported.
Parents and coaches reportedly sent multiple letters to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) demanding answers as to why the biological male is allowed to compete against their young girls.
In one letter, a coach claimed the transgender player “hits the ball harder than any other I have seen in the league.”
The transgender player also reportedly caused injuries to opponents and umpires in the past. One opponent that the transgender player injured “was left unable to play for months.”
Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to be named in an international women’s squad earlier this year.
McGahey, who was born a male in Australia before emigrating to Canada in 2020, announced a “social transitioning” to a woman in November 2020 and began medically transitioning in May 2021.
The 29-year-old first played in a international against Brazil in September.
However, under the ICC’s new regulations, James will no longer be able to compete in international women’s cricket.