Dubai: India's GS Lakshmi on Tuesday became the first female to be appointed to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees.
Following close on the heels of Claire Polosak, who earlier this month became the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men's ODI, Lakshmi will be eligible to referee international games with immediate effect. Lakshmi, 51, who first officiated as a match referee in domestic women's cricket in 2008-09, has overseen three women's ODI matches and three women's T20I matches. "To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new avenues. I have had a long career as a cricketer in India and also as a match referee. I hope to put my experience both as a player and as a match official to good use on the international circuit," said Lakshmi. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ICC, officials at the BCCI, my seniors in the cricketing circuit, my family and colleagues who have supported me over the years. I hope to live up to their expectations by doing my job to the best of my ability," she added. Meanwhile, Australia's Eloise Sheridan has joined compatriot Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, taking the number of women on that panel to an unprecedented eight. Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees, said: "We welcome Lakshmi and Eloise to our panels, which is an important step forward in our commitment to encouraging women officials. It is heartening to see their progress and I am sure many more women will be inspired to follow their example. I wish them all the best for a long and enjoyable career."IANS