Cricket Australia launches transgender inclusive policy

Cricket Australia has launched a new policy to ensure that transgender people are included in the sport and do not face discrimination.

Commencing consultation with key stakeholders in October 2018, Cricket Australia 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.

At a starting point, the Elite Cricket Policy aligns closely with the International Cricket Council’s Eligibility 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 meaningful 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.

Kevin Roberts, CEO of Cricket Australia said there was no place for discrimination in 2019.

“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.

“Today we demonstrate our commitment to include people with an affirmed gender identity in the game at every level and ensure all people in our communities experience Australian cricket’s inclusive culture.

“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.” Roberts said.

“Our dedication to a fair and inclusive sport across international and domestic competitions sees the policy strike a balance between the opportunity to participate and ensuring fair competition.

“From a community cricket level, the guidelines provide robust guidance for clubs and associations to encourage the participation of transgender and gender diverse players and support frameworks for people who are subject to any form of harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sex or gender identity.

“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.”

Australian cricketer Megan Schutt, who has played on the Australian women’s team since 2012, welcomed the introduction of the new policy.

“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 includes transgender and gender diverse players will create a better environment for everybody to play the game.

“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.” Schutt said.

The organisation also released a video featuring  Australian Cricketer and former Australian Captain, Alex Blackwell and Erica James who is transgender and plays for the Universities Women’s Cricket Club in Sydney.

In the clip James shares how excited she was to find a pathway to return to the sport she love during her teenage years.

Source: Media Release, stock image

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