- Cricket Australia claims the policy aims to provide transgender and gender-diverse cricketers “guidance on how they can compete at the highest levels of the sport.
- “The Guidelines for Community Cricket will assist clubs, players, administrators, coaches and other volunteers deliver a safe,
- This is a very heavy-handed approach [Cricket Australia] is taking with local sport.
Cricket Australia, the body governing the gentleman’s game in Australia, released guidelines on Thursday for inclusion of transgender players in the sport. The potentially path-breaking initiative, however, has seemingly not impressed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Cricket Australia announced on Thursday that it commenced consultations with key stakeholders in October 2018 to develop its Elite Cricket Policy and Guidelines for Community Cricket. The Cricket Australia website noted these guidelines intend 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”.
Cricket Australia claims the policy aims to provide transgender and gender-diverse cricketers “guidance on how they can compete at the highest levels of the sport, consistent with their gender identity”. The policy provides for a referral process to an “expert panel” to ensure fair and meaningful competition. The policy also seeks promotion of gender-neutral change rooms and even gender-neutral pronouns.
“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,” Cricket Australia claimed.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the policy requires elite players “to have blood testosterone levels below 10 nano-moles a litre for a year, in line with the International Cricket Council’s gender recognition policy, grassroots clubs must allow players to take part in community cricket in line with their gender identity”. Cricket Australia identifies elite players as those who are eligible for playing first-class and national-grade cricket.
Commenting on the policy, Scott Morrison told 2GB, a radio station in Sydney, “This is a very heavy-handed approach [Cricket Australia] is taking with local sport.” Morrison argued, “There are far more practical ways than these heavy, mandatory ways of doing it. Why there’s the necessity to get the sledgehammer on this, it’s mystifying to me and we should manage it calmly.”
Morrison reportedly said the decision on including transgender people in grassroots cricket should be up to community clubs and “not mandated by the national governing body”.
In an article on Friday, The Australian, a newspaper, reported, “Mums and dads who run suburban and country cricket clubs could be prosecuted under state and federal discrimination laws for failing to allow anyone who identities as female to play in a women’s team.”