Groundbreaking: Australia’s Claire Polosak, the first woman umpire to stand in men’s ODI

In a major decisive and groundbreaking moment for women presence in the field of cricket, Australia’s Claire Polosak became the first ever women to stand as an umpire in a men’s ODI.

This major breakthrough, significant in a number of aspects, has shown that women can contribute with equal efficiency and precision in the roles of the sports previously believed to be men-centric. She performed the duties in a men’s One-Day International when she takes the field in the final of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, this Saturday.

The 31 years old sportswoman has previously stood in 15 women ODIs. Her first match where she stood in the role of an umpire was in November 2016 between Australia and South Africa.

With her performance, she has made her capabilities evident. She stood up and performed competitively in all ICC events. She stood in the semifinal of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2018 between England and India and four matches at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 – a match that proved to be a quantum leap in her career.

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“I am thrilled to be the first woman to stand in a men’s ODI and how far I have come as an umpire. It really is important to promote women umpires and there’s no reason why females can’t umpire in cricket. It’s about breaking down barriers, creating awareness so more females can come into the role.” – Polsak said, speaking about her role. 

Paving way for more women to get recognized in the field, Polosak was also the first ever woman to stand in a men’s domestic fixture in Australia in her first List A match in Australia in 2017 as well. During December 2017, Polosak, along with her South Australian counterpart Eloise Sheridan became the first female umpires to officiate on-field together during a professional match in Australia when the Adelaide Strikers hosted the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL.

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