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Explained: Trans Women Banned From Intl Cricket, as Sports Keep Shutting Doors

#Cricket became the latest sport to shut doors on transgender athletes, by banning them from international matches.

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Cricket became the latest sport to shut doors on transgender athletes, with the International Cricket Council (ICC) deciding to ban cricketers who have hit male puberty at any point in their lives from participating in women’s international cricket. With this, the solitary international transgender cricketer has had to announce her retirement.

Here’s everything you need to know about it:

Explained: Trans Women Banned From Intl Cricket, as Sports Keep Shutting Doors

  1. 1. What Is ICC’s Ruling?

    The ICC, on Tuesday (21 November), announced the decision to ban transgender cricketers from international cricket. According to their ruling, any cricketer who transitions from a biological male to female – irrespective of the process of doing so – will not be allowed to participate in women’s international cricket.

    Expand
  2. 2. What Is the Reasoning Behind the Decision?

    Alongside their ruling, the ICC have also listed the reasoning behind their decision. The apex cricket governing body stated that they came to the verdict after a consultation process which lasted nine months, wherein they sought the opinion of cricket’s various stakeholders.

    Further, they stated that the decision was taken on the basis of four principles, which are:

    • Protection of the integrity of the women’s game.

    • Safety of women’s cricket.

    • Fairness.

    • Inclusion.

    The review was led by ICC’s Medical Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt – who is also associated with the basketball governing body (FIBA), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

    Any Male to Female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women's game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.
    International Cricket Council (ICC)

    Elaborating further on the decision, ICC’s CEO, Geoff Allardyce commented “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. 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.”

    Expand
  3. 3. Are There Any Transgender Cricketers in Women’s Cricket?

    There is only one transgender cricketer in the international female cricketing circuit – Canada’s Danielle McGahey – who has had to retire from the sport following ICC’s decision.

    Born in Australia, McGahey moved to Canada in February 2020, before socially transitioning to a female later that year. According to BBC, she started her medical transition process in May 2021.

    McGahey made her debut on 4 September, in a 2024 T20 World Cup qualifier match against Brazil. She has played six international matches so far, scoring 118 runs at an average of 19.66 and a strike rate of 95.93.

    With ICC banning transgender cricketers, McGahey has had to announce her retirement. Here’s what she said:

    #Cricket became the latest sport to shut doors on transgender athletes, by banning them from international matches.
    Following the ICC’s decision this morning, it is with a very heavy heart that I must say that my international cricketing career is over. As quickly as it begun, it must now end. While I hold my opinions on the ICC’s decision, they are irrelevant. What matters is the message being sent to millions of trans women today, a messaging say that we don’t belong. I promise I will not stop fighting for equality for us in our sport, we deserve the right to play cricket at the highest level, we are not a threat to the integrity or safety of the sport.
    Danielle McGahey, transgender cricketer
    Expand
  4. 4. Which Other Sports Have Banned Transgender Athletes?

    Cricket joins a long list of sports to have banned transgender athletes, with the majority of those rulings coming over the last couple of years,

    Back in April, World Athletics (WA) banned transgender athletes from participating in track & field competitions. In their explanation, WA stated the decision was being implemented to safeguard the integrity of female competition.

    Three months after their verdict, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the international cycling governing body – announced their decision to ban transgender cyclists from enrolling in women’s events.

    “It is impossible to rule out the possibility that biomechanical factors such as the shape and arrangement of the bones in their limbs may constitute a lasting advantage for female transgender athletes,” UCI elaborated.

    In June 2022, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) banned transgender women from competing in women’s categories. Albeit, they also implemented a new ‘open competition’ category, wherein transgender swimmers can compete.

    The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has also banned transgender rugby players from competing in women’s events.

    Only three months before ICC’s ruling, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) banned transgender chess players from competing in women-only events. An exception, however, can be issued following a lengthy analysis procedure, to determine the player’s eligibility.

    The World Boxing Council (WBC) also banned transgender boxers from competing in female events last year, citing ‘safety concerns.’

    Expand
  5. 5. So, Is It the End of the Road for Transgender Cricketers?

    Not completely. While transgender cricketers will not be able to compete in international cricket anymore, the ban does not apply to the domestic circuits.

    “Gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual Member Board, which may be impacted by local legislation. The regulations will be reviewed within two years,” ICC clarified.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

What Is ICC’s Ruling?

The ICC, on Tuesday (21 November), announced the decision to ban transgender cricketers from international cricket. According to their ruling, any cricketer who transitions from a biological male to female – irrespective of the process of doing so – will not be allowed to participate in women’s international cricket.

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

What Is the Reasoning Behind the Decision?

Alongside their ruling, the ICC have also listed the reasoning behind their decision. The apex cricket governing body stated that they came to the verdict after a consultation process which lasted nine months, wherein they sought the opinion of cricket’s various stakeholders.

Further, they stated that the decision was taken on the basis of four principles, which are:

  • Protection of the integrity of the women’s game.

  • Safety of women’s cricket.

  • Fairness.

  • Inclusion.

The review was led by ICC’s Medical Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt – who is also associated with the basketball governing body (FIBA), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

Any Male to Female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women's game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.
International Cricket Council (ICC)

Elaborating further on the decision, ICC’s CEO, Geoff Allardyce commented “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. 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.”

0

Are There Any Transgender Cricketers in Women’s Cricket?

There is only one transgender cricketer in the international female cricketing circuit – Canada’s Danielle McGahey – who has had to retire from the sport following ICC’s decision.

Born in Australia, McGahey moved to Canada in February 2020, before socially transitioning to a female later that year. According to BBC, she started her medical transition process in May 2021.

McGahey made her debut on 4 September, in a 2024 T20 World Cup qualifier match against Brazil. She has played six international matches so far, scoring 118 runs at an average of 19.66 and a strike rate of 95.93.

With ICC banning transgender cricketers, McGahey has had to announce her retirement. Here’s what she said:

#Cricket became the latest sport to shut doors on transgender athletes, by banning them from international matches.
Following the ICC’s decision this morning, it is with a very heavy heart that I must say that my international cricketing career is over. As quickly as it begun, it must now end. While I hold my opinions on the ICC’s decision, they are irrelevant. What matters is the message being sent to millions of trans women today, a messaging say that we don’t belong. I promise I will not stop fighting for equality for us in our sport, we deserve the right to play cricket at the highest level, we are not a threat to the integrity or safety of the sport.
Danielle McGahey, transgender cricketer
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Which Other Sports Have Banned Transgender Athletes?

Cricket joins a long list of sports to have banned transgender athletes, with the majority of those rulings coming over the last couple of years,

Back in April, World Athletics (WA) banned transgender athletes from participating in track & field competitions. In their explanation, WA stated the decision was being implemented to safeguard the integrity of female competition.

Three months after their verdict, Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the international cycling governing body – announced their decision to ban transgender cyclists from enrolling in women’s events.

“It is impossible to rule out the possibility that biomechanical factors such as the shape and arrangement of the bones in their limbs may constitute a lasting advantage for female transgender athletes,” UCI elaborated.

In June 2022, the International Swimming Federation (FINA) banned transgender women from competing in women’s categories. Albeit, they also implemented a new ‘open competition’ category, wherein transgender swimmers can compete.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has also banned transgender rugby players from competing in women’s events.

Only three months before ICC’s ruling, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) banned transgender chess players from competing in women-only events. An exception, however, can be issued following a lengthy analysis procedure, to determine the player’s eligibility.

The World Boxing Council (WBC) also banned transgender boxers from competing in female events last year, citing ‘safety concerns.’

ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

So, Is It the End of the Road for Transgender Cricketers?

Not completely. While transgender cricketers will not be able to compete in international cricket anymore, the ban does not apply to the domestic circuits.

“Gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual Member Board, which may be impacted by local legislation. The regulations will be reviewed within two years,” ICC clarified.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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