Cricket transgender rules ‘shut out women’

Female cricketers are being excluded by rules that permit men to compete as women, a campaign group has warned.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) currently has an eligibility policy based solely on self-identified gender.

Fair Play For Women, which defends sex-based rights for women, said: “If you were born male you can’t play female sport – it is as simple as that.”


The row broke out ahead of a semi-professional women’s competition which starts next year.

Fair Play For Women’s Director Dr Nicola Williams said the rules show “utter contempt” for female cricket competitions and “exclude women from their own game”.

“Female-only teams are vital to uphold fair competition for women in cricket”.


The ECB said it is looking at a new policy from Cricket Australia which requires elite male-born transgender cricketers to lower their testosterone levels.

Lower-level participants are still allowed to self-identify.

But the ECB said it was “unlikely to make any unilateral changes” to its current non-medical stance.

“We are proud that this model promotes an inclusive environment for all participants in domestic and recreational cricket.”


Several female former elite athletes, including Martina Navratilova and Dame Kelly Holmes, have challenged the idea of men who say they are women competing against women.

A survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed that 63 per cent agreed with Navratilova, who had said men hold an unfair physical advantage.

Dame Kelly said she supported the serial Wimbledon champion. She explained it was “nothing to do with hatred or stopping people leading their lives as they wish”, but in sport “it’s a different matter”.

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