The international career of Australian-born transgender cricketer Danielle McGahey would appear to be over after the International Cricket Council (ICC) ruled players who have been through male puberty will not be able to compete in international women’s cricket.
- Danielle McGahey was born a man in Brisbane, but has played cricket for Canada’s women’s team since October 2022
- McGahey played all six of Canada’s T20 World Cup qualifiers, averaging 19.67 with the bat as Canada failed to qualify
- McGahey has vowed to not stop “fighting for equality”
“Following the ICC’s decision this morning, it is with a very heavy heart that I must say that my international cricketing career is over,” McGahey wrote on Instagram.
The change in regulations appears to have ben prompted by the case of McGahey, who became the first transgender cricketer to take part in an official international match when she featured in a Women’s T20 fixture for Canada against Brazil.
The Brisbane-born 29-year-old, who played grade cricket as a man in Melbourne, moved to Canada in 2020. Having transitioned socially, then medically, to a woman she began playing women’s cricket in Canada and was called into the national team in October 2022.
The opening batter went on to play all six of Canada’s matches during the Women’s T20 World Cup Americas region qualifiers event in Los Angeles, to add to national team appearances previously in fixtures which did not hold official ICC status.
Canada came second in the four-team event, failing to qualify, with McGahey making 118 runs at 19.67 with a top score of 48.
“As quickly as it begun, it must now end,” McGahey wrote.
“Thank you so much to everybody who has supported me in my journey, from my all of my teammates, all of the opposition, the cricketing community.”
Transgender athletes have been banned from taking part in elite women’s competitions in other sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, rugby league and rugby union.
Under the ICC’s previous regulations, which were effective from October 2018 and amended in April 2021, McGahey had satisfied all of the eligibility criteria.
However, following an ICC board meeting, new gender regulations have been announced, which follow a nine-month consultation process with the sport’s stakeholders.
The review, led by the ICC medical advisory committee and chaired by Dr Peter Harcourt, relates solely to gender eligibility for international women’s cricket. Gender eligibility at domestic level is a matter for each individual member board.
“While I hold my opinions on the ICC’s decision, they are irrelevant,” McGahey wrote.
“What matters is the message being sent to millions of trans women today, a messaging say that we don’t belong.
“I promise I will not stop fighting for equality for us in our sport, we deserve the right to play cricket at the highest level, we are not a threat to the integrity or safety of the sport.”
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