Danielle McGahey set to become first transgender woman to play international cricket.

Danielle McGahey is set to become the first transgender player to feature in international cricket after being named in Canada's squad for the Women's T20 Americas Qualifier, the pathway tournament to the 2024 T20 World Cup.

McGahey, a 29-year-old batter, is originally from Australia but moved to Canada in 2020. According to BBC Sport, which reported the story first, McGahey socially transitioned from male to female in 2020, before undergoing a medical transition a few months later in 2021.

Recently the ICC confirmed that McGahey had fulfilled the eligibility criteria for male-to-female (MTF) transition to play international cricket. "We can confirm that Danielle went through the process as required under the ICC's Player Eligibility Regulations," an ICC spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo, "and as a result has been deemed eligible to participate in international women's cricket on the basis that she satisfies the MTF transgender eligibility criteria."

McGahey told BBC Sport that she was "absolutely honoured" to play as a transgender athlete at international level. "To be able to represent my community is something I never dreamed I would be able to do."

McGahey played four matches for Canada at the South American Women's Championship held last October in Brazil, which Canada won. That tournament did not have international status.

The Americas Qualifier, which will be played in Los Angeles, USA from September 4 to 11, will feature Argentina, Brazil, Canada and hosts USA. The winner will progress to the global Qualifiers where teams from other regional Qualifiers will contest for spots in the next T20 World Cup, to be played in Bangladesh.

The ICC amended the Player Eligibility regulations in 2021. In Article 3, dealing with eligibility based on gender recognition, the term transgender is defined as "individuals whose gender identity is different from the biological sex assigned to them at birth (whether they are pre- or post-puberty, and whether or not they have undergone any form of medical intervention)".

For a male transitioning to female, testosterone levels are the key measure and have to be "less than 5 nmol/l (nanomole per litre) continuously for a period of at least 12 months, and that she is ready, willing and able to continue to keep it below that level for so long as she continues to compete in the female category of competition".

The ICC's existing regulations are based primarily on the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) guidelines from November 2021, a 10-principle approach it offers as a framework to sporting bodies, in which it has attempted to to balance inclusivity in participation with fairness of competition.

That approach has, however, been polarising, with some scientists and medical experts criticising the dropping of the requirement for trans women to lower testosterone levels as well as not presuming any performance advantage. The new framework has been criticised as prioritising inclusion over fairness and is seen by critics as a reversal of the original IOC regulations formulated in 2015, which relied heavily on the science of testosterone levels. Those regulations required transgender women athletes to maintain testosterone levels under 10 nmol/l and use testosterone-suppressing medication for at least a year.

The IOC also stated that each sport should have its own guidelines, and many have stuck to the original 2015 regulations. Several sports bodies, from rugby to athletics and cycling, do not allow transgender women to participate in women's competitions.

Though McGahey is eligible, the ICC itself in the process of a detailed review of its guidelines, led by its medical advisory committee. Regulations have been under review since March and there remains the possibility that they may change.

For the moment, McGahey is on the verge of making history.

Source: www.espncricinfo.com


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