Sue Redfern Becomes First ICC-Appointed Female Neutral Umpire For Bilateral Series

Sue Redfern Becomes First ICC-Appointed Female Neutral Umpire For Bilateral Series

Sue Redfern has become the first ICC-appointed female neutral umpire for bilateral series.

IANSUpdated: Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 04:23 PM IST
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Sue Redfern. | (Image Credits: Twitter)

England’s Sue Redfern will become the first female neutral umpire appointed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stand in a bilateral series after being named for the upcoming ICC Women’s Championship and T20I fixtures between Australia and South Africa.

"I’m very excited about the upcoming series between Australia and South Africa" - Sue Redfern

Sue’s appointment follows the ICC’s decision to appoint one neutral umpire for all ICC Women’s Championship series as well as any T20I matches scheduled between two same opponents. The move will ensure some neutrality in running matches while also keeping in mind the long-term development of female umpires.

“It’s an honour to be named by the ICC as its first official female neutral umpire and I’m very excited about the upcoming series between Australia and South Africa. This is a defining moment for both women’s cricket and female cricket officials, who have worked hard and been given development opportunities in recent years.”

“I’ve seen the landscape evolve for female officials and how many are now being recognised and supported across many countries. I am sure this appointment can help build momentum and visibility to help further develop female officials across the world in the future. Personally, I would like to thank the ICC and the ECB for their support over the years and I look forward to more such appointments,” said Sue in the ICC statement.

Sue played in six Tests and 15 ODIs for England between 1995 and 1999, including four in the 1997 Women’s ODI World Cup in India. Post the end of her playing career, Sue has been on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires since 2016. She has officiated in two ICC Women’s ODI Cricket World Cups (2017 and 2022) and three ICC Women’s T20 World Cups (2018, 2022 and 2024).

The ICC said it will prioritise female officials for the neutral umpires’ role in ICC Women’s Championship series. The ICC-appointed female umpires will get match-day pay parity with their male counterparts on the ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and receive comparable perks.

"Watershed moment for women’s cricket" - Wasim Khan

The female neutral umpires will be selected on merit and more of them will find themselves in the ICC International Panel of Umpires in the coming years, as part of ICC’s strategic ambition to advance the involvement and visibility of women both on and off field within the game.

“This is a watershed moment for women’s cricket as we look to both implement a female match officials’ pathway programme and accelerate officiating opportunities for our very best performers.”

“Neutral appointments will give female umpires more exposure to different conditions and will support the learning and development of local female umpires who officiate alongside them.”

“Last year we had the first all-female match officials’ panel at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa and so it is important that we build on that momentum through a combination of development and high-quality opportunities,” said Wasim Khan, ICC’s General Manager of Cricket.

Redfern will officiate in the three T20Is and as many ODIs against South Africa.

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