Umpire Claire creates history, a step towards changing trends in cricket

Chandhana Gogineni
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Umpire Claire creates history, a step towards changing trends in cricket


CLAIRE POLOSAK has the become the first ever women umpire to officiate in Australia’s men’s national series. It’s a day that women players across the globe would be delighted to see, especially as this signifies the changing ways and means through which the game is organized and conducted.


All credits to Cricket Australia for taking a landmark decision, in this era, which will pave the way for many more countries to follow its pathway. This was even more significant for women, as umpiring is a profession where gender barriers have yet not been broken, and new stereotypes of women were dominantly introduced to the modern world.


So far, the world of men’s cricket has witnessed male umpires officiating proceedings so far, with women umpire taking up the positions of the third umpire only, which meant that they were restricted to be off the field or behind the screen. Claire was the first to overlook the proceedings on the field on October 8th, in the JLT Cup.


This selection was purely based on merit, performance, effective decisions on the field and a couple of other parameters.


The 29-year- old umpire has been a surprise choice in the umpiring panel for the national series but has always been possible with her persistence to give spontaneous decisions in the live matches, which resulted in her getting the ultimate opportunity to officiate the national league.


Claire started her career at a tender age of 16, after a steady and continued effort in her entrance tests for umpiring. Her repeated efforts made her qualify the exam after a couple of attempts. After this, she never had to look back. She umpired many domestic matches and matches in the Women's World cup (both ODI and T20), Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), Matador cup, Under 19 world cup until now. The outstanding empire had been holding key positions like the member of an elite panel of umpires of the ICC (International Cricket Council).


Polosak has expressed her opinion about her inclusion as the field umpires, that she welcomes such a step and it would set an example for women to take up umpiring as a responsible position, and make umpiring as a real possibility to be included in matches. She wants many more females to take up officiating matches.


She never played cricket as a kid, but it was her desire to contribute to the game that she chose to become the umpire of Cricket.


This selection would hopefully bring about a wave of changes in the action during matches as well as the mind-sets of the traditional cricket enthusiasts. Changing times means that people will witness a role that was traditionally meant for men, but has now been chosen by women with equal capacity.


Polasak stands as the 4th women to be assigned such a role and to be associated with the men’s territory worldwide after umpires like Kathy Cross (New Zealand), Jacqueline Williams (West Indies), Sue Redfern (England). We wish to see more female umpires participate, and get evolved in the field of sports in a move to end gender disparity.


The latest inclusion of a women sitting umpire in the US Open (Tennis), has been also been a path-breaking selection of women officiating the matches.


The team at Women's CricZone appreciate the Cricket Australia for making the historic decision.


Claire Polasak we would expect to see some fair, spontaneous decisions on the men’s field, and many more young girls following your pathway to success. Thank you for showing what perseverance is all about.