Cricket NSW supports the Cricket Australia announcement today detailing the direction for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in elite and community cricket.

Cricket Australia began consultation with key stakeholders in October 2018, developing 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.

The Elite Cricket Policy is aligned to 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.

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 NSW Chief Executive Lee Germon welcomed the Cricket Australia guidelines.

“Cricket is a sport for all regardless of race, religion or gender,” Mr Germon said.

“Cricket brings people together and today’s announcement highlights everyone is welcome to be part of our great game.

“There is no place for discrimination in society and cricket certainly reflects that inclusive view.”

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said it was not right that people are discriminated against, harassed or excluded, because of who they are.

“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,” Mr Roberts said.

“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.

“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.”

Former Australian and current Sydney Thunder captain Alex Blackwell praised Cricket Australia for the development of the guidelines.

“Australian cricket has a really wonderful purpose and that’s to be Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians,” Ms Blackwell said.

“It’s really important that we live by that and we walk the talk.

“These guidelines are very clearly about inclusivity and ensuring that all people feel like cricket is a sport for them.

“That they would be safe and welcome to participate in the game or consume the game as a fan.”

Ms Blackwell said it was important that transgender players had the opportunity to help develop the policy.

“My friend and teammate at Universities Erica James has been a part of this policy development because she has a lived experience and one that I’m pleased to say has been a positive experience for her.”

Ms James also praised the policy.

“The moment that I realised I could play in a team of women like me I was so surprised and so happy,” Ms James said.

“I’m getting out there now, I’m getting exercise, I’m meeting people, I’m making amazing friends.

“Because of these guidelines trans and gender diverse people like me can play a sport that we love without feeling like an imposter.”