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ICC announces equal match fee for female officials in a landmark decision

The International Cricket Council (ICC) in its meeting in Ahmedabad took a few key decisions, the biggest of them being the equal pay for male and female umpires. The decision came as part of ICC's continued attempt to bring gender equality in the sport.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: November 22, 2023 7:59 IST
The female match officials will now have equal fees as
Image Source : GETTY The female match officials will now have equal fees as compared to their male counterparts

The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced pay parity in the sport for match officials in a landmark decision in the Ahmedabad meeting. The female ICC officials will get equal match fees as to that of their male counterparts irrespective of the fact they are hoisting in men's or women's matches. 

ICC's decision came as part of the council's continued steps towards bringing gender equality in the sport. There are a handful of female umpires officiating in international cricket but the number reduces when it comes to them officiating in the men's games, the number is almost negligible. Claire Polosak became the first female umpire to officiate in a men's international game in 2021 in the India-Australia Test in Sydney.

The initiative is set to come into practice starting January 2024. The ICC release also mentioned the inclusion of a neutral umpire in women's championship matches, a practice which has been followed religiously in men's games since the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision came as part of several big announcements made after the meeting, with the most prominent being the loss of hosting rights for Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), whose suspension is set to continue for now at least. South Africa will host the men's Under-19 World Cup for the third time, from January 13 to February 2024.

Another big decision regarding gender eligibility criteria came in terms of the participation of transgender in women's cricket. ICC mentioned that keeping the players' safety and integrity of women's game in mind, the council decided to ban transgender players who underwent male puberty from playing in women's international matches. ICC said that it will review its decision in a couple of years but till then, this will be the case.

A stop-clock is set to be implemented in the men's game from December 2023 to April 2024 to keep tabs on the time and focus on quick completion of the overs. The teams will get two official warnings if they are not able to start the next over 60 seconds after the completion of the first and a five-run penalty will be imposed if it's flagged for the third time by the umpires.

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