Record number of female umpires involved in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

Sue Redfern is one of the female umpires officiating in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy. © Getty Images

As many as ten female umpires will officiate through the course of the inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board. This will mark a new record for the number of female officials to stand in an ECB organised List-A competition.

Chris Kelly, ECB’s umpires’ manager, said the tournament is the perfect opportunity for new officials to learn from their more experienced colleagues and gain better access to the next step in the officiating pathway.

“All the appointed umpires have the relevant experience to be chosen for these opportunities, as well as the technical ability to justify their appointments,” Kelly said. “We’ve been working hard to increase the number of opportunities for female officials and it is good for the game to see such a high number of female officials involved in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.”

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So far all of Anna Harris, Sarah Bartlett, Joanne Ibbotson, Jasmine Naeem, Sophie McLelland, Yvonne Dolphin-Cooper, Malinda Underdown, Lina Nenova, Fiona Richards and Sue Redfern have officiated in the first three rounds of matches. They have had the opportunity to stand alongside the likes of Nigel Llong, Jeremy Lloyds, Chris Watts and Ian Ramage.

“Most of the officials will be appointed alongside a colleague who is experienced within the environment in which these matches are being played, allowing them to learn from the experience and to start to understand the further demands necessary at this level of the women’s game.”

“Being supported by the right people will provide the best possible learning environment to allow these officials to move forward in their umpiring career.”

“This marks the start of the Women’s Umpiring Pathway with the most able umpires potentially beginning their journey towards women’s international cricket, emulating the achievements to date of Suzanne Redfern MBE – who has officiated at a number of top-level ICC events,” Kelly concluded.