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Australian umpire Claire Polosak to officiate at ICC World T20

Cross and Polosak

Cricket Australia (CA) has congratulated Claire Polosak for becoming the first Australian female umpire selected in the ICC Women’s World T20, which will be held across India next month.

In a major breakthrough for female umpires Polosak, 27, will be joined by New Zealand’s Kathy Cross. It is the first time that female officials have been appointed to an ICC World T20 event.

With the men’s and women’s tournaments to run concurrently, Australians will make up more than a fifth of the 24 umpires at the event. Simon Fry, Bruce Oxenford, Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker will all be standing.

Polosak has enjoyed a rapid rise through umpiring ranks. She made history last October when appointed as third umpire for the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, becoming the first female to officiate in a men’s state domestic competition in Australia.

And a month later she was one of four female umpires appointed to an ICC event for the first time when they stood in the Women’s World T20 qualifying tournament in Bangkok.

Hailing from Goulburn, the high-school science teacher has worked her way through men's grade cricket in Sydney, the Women’s National Cricket League, and the Rebel WBBL where she umpired both as an on-field and a third umpire. 

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “We are delighted with Claire’s appointment to officiate in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.

“Claire’s dedication and love of the game shines through as her officiating continues to go from strength to strength.

“Her historic debut in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup as third umpire late last year and now featuring in such a prestigious ICC tournament is an inspiration to other aspiring female cricket umpires.

“We wish Claire all the best for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.”

Polosak has been surprised by her rapid progress.

“When I started umpiring at 15 I really didn’t think I’d have the opportunities that have already been presented to me at 27,” she said.