The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed GS Lakshmi as the International Panel of Match Referees, thus making her the first woman ever to officiate in a match. Lakshmi, 51, took over the position following the heels of Claire Polosak who became the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI earlier this month.

Lakshmi is taking over the honour of refereeing international games with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Eloise Sheridan has joined the league of the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, taking the number of women on that panel to a strong eight.

GS Lakshmi becomes first woman to be ICC match referee.

Congratulating her on the latest feat, 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,” Hindustan Times reported.

“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,” he further added.

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Lakshmi is the first referee to officiate a match in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09. She 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. 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,” said Lakshmi who is known for her multi-tasking skillset and fast decision-making abilities.

“I hope to put my experience both as a player and as a match official to good use on the international circuit”: Lakshmi

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The 51-year-old further added, “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.”

We believe the opportunity will give women like Lakshmi to grow as referees and to know their strength better.

Feature Image Credit: Cricbuzz

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