India’s GS Lakshmi becomes first woman ICC match referee

India’s GS Lakshmi became the first woman to be recruited to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees. Following Claire Polosak’s resignation, who had previously, this month became the first ever woman umpire to officiate as a match referee in men’s ODI, Lakshmi has been given the green light by the International Cricket Council to referee international games with immediate effect.

India's GS Lakshmi becomes first woman ICC match referee
GS Lakhsmi is India’s first woman ICC match referee

Lakshmi, 51-year-old who first got an opportunity to officiate as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has now overseen three women’s ODI matches and three women’s T20I matches. She expressed her delight after being selected in the international panel by the ICC.

“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,” Lakshmi added.

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“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,” she added.

Australia’s Eloise Sheridan joined compatriot Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, taking the number of women on that panel to an unprecedented eight.

Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager – Umpires and Referees in a statement 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.”