History will be made in Windhoek, Namibia, on Saturday, 27 April, when Claire Polosak will become the first woman to umpire a men’s one-day international.
Polosak will officiate the final of the World Cricket League Division 2, between Oman and Namibia, who both secured ODI status after finishing in the top two positions of the table.
Polosak was told of the news on the eve of the final, and she was elated. “We go out there to umpire. Not to get a final appointment, but to be a part of a team, to be involved in the game,” she told the ICC.
"It’s really to do with the partners you work with all the way through. Right from my local association – NSW umpires and scorers – as well as parents and my partner, Evans, my husband, without whose support there’s no way I’d be here today.”
This isn’t the first time Polosak will stand in a men’s match, though. In 2017, she became the first on-field female umpire to officiate a men’s domestic game in Australia.
It's about breaking down barriers, creating awareness so more females can come into the role.
In all, she has officiated 15 women's ODIs, and was part of the team that stood in the 2018 ICC T20 Women’s World Cup, including in the semi-final between England and India. She also officiated in four matches at the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
Furthermore, she holds the distinction of being one of two female umpires, along with Eloise Sheridan, who officiated together for the first time in a competitive game on Australian soil during the WBBL in 2018.
Umpires Claire Polosak and Eloise Sheridan made history today, becoming the first all-female umpiring team to officiate a professional 🏏 match in Australia 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/VArqXgWwJq— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) December 23, 2018
"I am thrilled to be the first woman to stand in a men’s ODI and how far I have come as an umpire," said Polosak. "It really is important to promote women umpires and there's no reason why females can't umpire in cricket. It's about breaking down barriers, creating awareness so more females can come into the role."
Polosak's sharp rise was also acknowledged by Adrian Griffith, the ICC Senior Manager – Umpires and Referees. "Congratulations to Claire for this fantastic achievement of becoming the first woman umpire to stand in a men’s one-day international," he said.
"It is one thoroughly deserved and a result of her hard work and perseverance. She is a role model for women who want to get into officiating, and proves how successful they can be once they are on the right path and get the opportunities."
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