India’s GS Lakshmi welcomed as ICC's first female match referee

Lakshmi will be eligible to referee international matches with immediate effect.

G. S. Lakshmi first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket during the 2008-09 season.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

India's G. S. Lakshmi has become the first female to be appointed to the ICC international panel of match referees. 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.

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.

Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Shivani Mishra, Sue Redfern, Mary Waldron and Jacqueline Williams are the other women officials on that panel. The first woman on the ICC development panel of umpires was Kathy Cross, who retired last year.

Adrian Griffith, ICC senior manager, umpires and referees, said, “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."

—'A huge honour'—

“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 have had a long career as a cricketer in India and also as a Match Referee. I hope to put my experience both as a player and as a match official to good use on the international circuit."