Danielle McGahey of Canada will become the first transgender cricketer to play in an international match when she represents her adopted country during the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup qualifier in Bangladesh.
The 29-year-old McGahey, an opening batter, has been selected in Canada’s women’s squad for the next month’s qualifying tournament after she fulfilled ICC’s eligibility criteria for male-to-female transgender players.
The qualifying tournament will be played in Los Angeles from September 4 to 11.
Canada will take on Argentina, Brazil and the United States in the ICC Americas Qualifier for a place in the Global Qualifiers.
“I am absolutely honoured. To be able to represent my community is something I never dreamed I would be able to do,” McGahey was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
McGahey moved to Canada from Australia in February 2020 and began her social transition from a man to a woman in November 2020. She started medical transition in May 2021.
McGahey’s participation in international cricket is a big forward-looking step by ICC as part of the game’s governing body’s policy of equal rights.
According to ICC’s player eligibility regulations released in 2018 (and amended in 2021) trans women wishing to play women’s international cricket must demonstrate “the concentration of testosterone in her serum has been less than 5 nmol/L1 continuously for a period of at least 12 months, and that she is ready, willing and able to continue to keep it below that level for so long as she continues to compete”.
It further states that a trans cricketer must “provide a written and signed declaration, in a form of satisfactory to the designated medical officer, that her gender identity is female”.
On allowing McGahey to be the first transgender to play international cricket, the ICC said in a statement: “We can confirm that Danielle went through the process as required under the ICC’s player eligibility regulations and as a result has been deemed eligible to participate in international women’s cricket on the basis that she satisfies the MTF transgender eligibility criteria.”
McGahey said she is doing everything possible in her capacity to realise her dream of playing international cricket.
“In order to determine (my testosterone levels), I’ve been doing blood tests every month now for over two years. I also have to put in my player profile who I have played against and how many runs I’ve scored,” she said.
“A lot of work with my doctor sending my medical information through to the ICC... they have a dedicated medical officer who looks over all of the information provided, and determines whether or not I have provided enough for an expert panel to make a decision.
“The need to do blood tests every month is probably the biggest challenge because when you are playing cricket you are travelling a lot,” McGahey said.
McGahey drew Cricket Canada selectors’ attention with her batting exploits during the country’s women’s inter-provincial tournament, which permits a transgender player to participate based solely on gender self-identification.
McGahey then went on to represent Canada in four T20 matches at the South American Championships in October 2022. But those games were not accorded international status.
“Obviously I felt a huge sense of pride. Not only for what I’m doing, but for my (trans) community. Being able to represent them,” McGahey said.
Cricket Canada said McGahey’s was selected in the team as she fulfilled all ICC’s regulations.
“Danielle’s (McGahey) selection was based on ICC’s player eligibility regulations for male-to-female transgender players.
“Danielle sent through her application to the ICC and Cricket Canada followed the process as per the ICC rules, which made Danielle’s selection to the Canadian team possible,” a Cricket Canada spokeperson said.
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