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Female Umpire representation on the rise

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A record number of females appointed to Cricket Australia and State and Territory Umpire Panels in season 2018-19

In season 2018-19, a record three females have been appointed to their respective State Umpire and Territory (STP) Panels. Ashlee Gibbons (nee Kovalevs) and Deanne Young return to the Western Australian and ACT Panels respectively; whilst Eloise Sheridan becomes the first ever female to join the South Australian Panel. The trio complement Claire Polosak who has been appointed to the Cricket Australia (CA) Supplementary Umpire Panel for the fourth season.

New South Wales’ Polosak was most recently appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifiers in The Netherlands throughout July, including appointment to the Final. She has previously officiated during last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup in England and at the ICC Women’s World T20 tournament in India in 2016. In October last year, Polosak became the first female umpire to officiate in a List A fixture in Australia in a JLT One-Day Cup match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI.

Polosak has not only been a ground-breaker throughout her career on-field, but she has also been an off-field role model for female officials. Whilst there has been an increase of females appointed to the State and Territory Umpire Panels, Polosak is also playing an important role in the increase of female umpiring representation across community cricket as an Umpire Educator with Cricket NSW. In season 2017/18, 117 umpiring appointments were filled by females in New South Wales, including 91 within men’s and women’s NSW Premier Cricket matches.

Sheridan joins the South Australian Panel following a busy 2017-18 season which included appointment to both the CA Under 18 and CA Under 15 Female National Championships. Last season Sheridan made history by becoming the first female to umpire a SACA first-grade Premier men’s match. Her strong performances across the season led to her appointment to the SACA Premier men’s T20 Final at Adelaide Oval.

Gibbons officiated in last season’s rebel Women’s Big Bash League, Women’s National Cricket League and travelled to Queensland for the CA Under 17 Male National Championships in October. Gibbons’ national umpiring commitments date back to the 2013-14 season, where she officiated in the CA Under 18 Female National Championships alongside Polosak.

Young also brings a wealth of experience to the ACT Panel having officiated in three CA Under 18 Female National Championships; two CA Under 17 Male National Championships and four Australian Country Cricket Championships. Young also officiated in last season’s WNCL among her ACT Premier First Grade commitments.

Alongside Premier Cricket commitments, State and Territory Umpire Panels will be appointed to officiate in CA sanctioned competitions, including the rebel Women’s Big Bash League, Women’s National Cricket League; Toyota Futures League; CA Underage National Championships and as Fourth Umpires in the KFC Big Bash League.