Cricket Australia has unveiled a new policy to welcome and affirm the rights of transgender and gender diverse players across the sport.
The organisation’s new Elite Cricket Policy offers trans and gender diverse cricketers guidance “on how they can compete at the highest levels of the sport” in line with their gender identity.
“A Player will be eligible to participate in the category of Elite Cricket consistent with their Gender Identity, whether or not this accords with the Sex they were assigned at birth,” the policy states.
The policy is modeled after the International Cricket Council’s guidelines. It acknowledges how differences in “strength, stamina and physique” can impact competition.
Elite female cricketers will need blood testosterone levels below 10 nano-moles per litre (nmol/L) for 12 months. A referral process to an expert panel will also ensure “fair and meaningful competition”, the policy states.
Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said it “doesn’t make any sense that today, people are discriminated against, harassed or excluded, because of who they are.”
“That’s not right. Discrimination of any sort has no place in the game,” he said.
“Our dedication to a fair and inclusive sport across international and domestic competitions sees the policy strike a balance between the opportunity to participate and ensuring fair competition.”
Transgender cricket player ‘felt like a freak’
Transgender cricket player Erica James (pictured) shared her story as the policy was announced on Thursday.
“I knew when I was about five that I should have been a girl, though I didn’t know what that meant,” she said.
“In primary school and early high school I played cricket, and I loved it. I stopped playing cricket because I was sick of being in a boys team.
For the next two decades, Erica said, she “spent the next 20 years or so playing video games, hiding away from the world.”
“I didn’t want to go outside, I didn’t want to see people. I felt like a freak,” she said.
“I was so surprised and so happy the moment I realised that I could play in a team of women like me.
“Because of these guidelines, trans and gender diverse people can play a sport we love without feeling like we’re an impostor.
“And we don’t need to go searching around for a club that will tolerate us.
“You just find a club that you want to join — and you join it. Be yourself.”
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