Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced the direction for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse cricketers in elite and community cricket.
Starting consultation with key stakeholders in October 2018, CA has developed an elite cricket policy and guidelines for community cricket to support players electing to participate in cricket in line with their gender identity, whether or not this aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth.
The elite cricket policy aligns closely with the International Cricket Council's (ICC) eligibility criteria on the basis of gender recognition and provides transgender and gender diverse cricketers guidance on how they can compete at the highest levels of the sport, consistent with their gender identity. As an additional measure, a referral process to an Expert Panel has been established to ensure fair and mengful competition.
The guidelines for community cricket will assist clubs, players, administrators, coaches, and other volunteers deliver a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment, free of harassment and discrimination for gender diverse players at the game's grassroots.
"It doesn't make any sense that today, people are discriminated against, harassed or excluded, because of who they are. And that's not right," Kevin Roberts, CEO of Cricket Australia said.
"As strength, stamina and physique are all relevant factors when competing in competitive sport, transgender and gender diverse players will be supported to participate in elite cricket, subject to certain criteria through the implementation of this policy," he added.
Roberts added that discrimination of any sort has no place in the game.
"Discrimination of any sort has no place in the game and all of Australian Cricket is driven to ensure all cricketers can participate in a harassment-free environment," Roberts said.
Australian women cricketer Megan Schutt said that transgender or gender diverse cricketers have a chance to play cricket at the highest level.
"Inclusion matters in every sense. Cricket Australia's vision is to be a sport for all, so everyone deserves to be included. To have a policy and guidelines that include transgender and gender diverse players will create a better environment for everybody to play the game," Schutt said.
"Now that we know that anyone who is transgender or gender diverse has a chance to play cricket at the highest level - and rightfully so - I'm confident that the elite cricket policy will provide a fair process for transgender and gender diverse cricketers to embark on that pathway," she added.
( With inputs from ANI )