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Transgender women banned from playing international women’s cricket by ICC

Transgender cricketer Danielle McGahey plays a pull shot
Canada’s Danielle McGahey was the first transgender cricketer to play an international match

Transgender women have been barred from playing in international women’s matches under new regulations from the International Cricket Council.

Any player who has gone through male puberty will not be eligible for women’s internationals regardless of any surgery or treatment undertaken.

In September, Canada’s Danielle McGahey became the first transgender cricketer to play an international game.

The new regulations will be reviewed within two years, the ICC said.

Following a nine-month consultation process, the governing body said its new policy, which takes effect immediately, was based on “protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion”.

“The changes to the gender eligibility regulations resulted from an extensive consultation process and is founded in science and aligned with the core principles developed during the review,” said ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice.

“Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”

Gender eligibility in domestic cricket will remain a matter for individual boards.

Currently, under guidance from the England and Wales Cricket Board, all trans women looking to take part in elite level female-only competitions must apply for written clearance. Evidence is then reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Other sports

In June 2022, swimming’s world governing body Fina voted to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s elite races if they had gone through any part of the process of male puberty.

Former Great Britain swimmer Sharron Davies, who has argued against transgender participation in women’s elite swimming, told BBC Sport she was “really proud of Fina”.

However, Olympic diving champion Tom Daley said he was “furious” at the decision.

In the same month, cycling’s governing body the UCI toughened its rules on transgender eligibility by doubling the period of time before a rider transitioning from male to female can compete.

In July 2022, the Rugby Football League and Rugby Football Union banned transgender women from competing in female-only forms of their games.

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