ECB to review rules on transgender cricketers The Times 14.08.19

The original article is here.

English cricket is to review its policy on transgender players ahead of the new professional women’s league, which will be launched next season.

Under the ECB’s existing policy, only transgender players who want to play for England must satisfy the International Cricket Council’s rules of having reduced testosterone levels. At all other levels of women’s cricket, including at county level, players need only “self-identify” as women to compete.

Cricket Australia announced new guidelines earlier this month which allows male-to-female players to compete in elite cricket if their testosterone, a hormone that increases muscle mass, strength and oxygen-carrying haemoglobin levels in the blood, are below 10nmol/litre for at least a year.

Clare Connor, the ECB’s managing director of Women’s Cricket, said: “We are reviewing our policy at the moment. Cricket Australia released theirs this week and it is pretty much in line with the ICC’s policy which is a medically driven policy.

“The ECB’s currently isn’t a medically driven policy it’s a more socially inclusive policy and we will be reviewing that over the coming months.

“Cricket Australia has a specific policy for elite cricketers and a different policy for community cricketers. At the moment we don’t and I think we will be looking at that.”

The ECB later said in a statement it was “unlikely to make any unilateral changes” to the policy.

“Our position on transgender participation will be reviewed as part of our ongoing commitment to regularly review all governance policies,” said an ECB spokeswoman. “This will take place as part of a business-as-usual principle — and not in response to the Cricket Australia policy around trans athlete participation.

“In our current policy, the eligibility of players is based on one’s own self-identified gender, with no medical requirement. We are unlikely to make any unilateral changes to this stance. We are proud that this model promotes an inclusive environment for all participants in domestic and recreational cricket.”

The ECB is launching a new elite women’s structure with eight teams based on The Hundred, who will compete in the new tournament as well as Twenty20 and 50-over cricket. Their plans are to more than double the number of professionals — it is 22 at the moment — and many other elite players will be semi-professional.

Connor said meetings are meeting held this week with counties to work out the final details of the elite women’s competitions.

She added: “We are still finalising those plans. What I can guarantee is we will have a very highly competitive best versus best domestic structure at 50 over and T20 level.

“We will be creating the opportunity for at least double the number of full-time professionals than we have at the moment, over the next few years, and we will have a much more professional structure in domestic cricket which we must do if we are going to inspire girls to use cricket at as a future sport.

“We will be looking to double the number of professionals compared to what we have at the moment, and the rest will be either semi-pro or on a paid-to-play basis.”

The International Olympic Committee is also looking at its guidelines on transgender athletes and is considering lowering the testosterone level to 5nmol/l.