Women’s referees Polosak and Sheridan break new ground in Sheffield Shield

 – Gudstory

Women’s referees Polosak and Sheridan break new ground in Sheffield Shield – Gudstory

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Clare Polosak and Eloise Sheridan will reach new heights in Australian cricket, with the pair set to become the first female umpires to officiate in the Sheffield Shield after being appointed to stand in for two matches in November.

Both referees have stood in men’s Marsh Cup matches and men’s BBL matches in Australia, but neither referee has ever stood on the field in a Shield match. It comes after England’s Sue Redfearn became the first female referee to stand in the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Glamorgan and Derbyshire in Cardiff in September.

Polosak will partner Sam Nogaiski at WACA Stadium when Western Australia takes on South Australia on November 15, while Sheridan will officiate Victoria v Queensland at the MCG alongside Gerard Abboud from November 16.

Polosak was the first woman to officiate in a men’s ODI in 2019 and also stood in 12 men’s T20Is but all were matches between associate nations. She was the first female umpire to officiate a men’s Test match as the fourth umpire in India’s third Test tour of Australia in January 2021.

“I’m very much looking forward to standing in the Sheffield Shield match at the WACA Stadium,” Polosak said.

“Just like the players, umpires are always working to create opportunities for top honours, and this is undoubtedly another step forward for umpiring. Thank you to Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW and the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association for their support.”

“I would especially like to acknowledge the countless fellow referees with whom I have had the pleasure of standing. I have learned from each and every one of them and this appointment stands on their shoulders.”

Sheridan made her Women’s Test debut in the 2022 Ashes and umpired in the Women’s ODI World Cup in 2022 and the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2023.

“I’m excited to be making my first-class debut for my club and honored to be doing so on the same tour as Clare,” Sheridan said.

“It’s an important moment for refereeing in Australia and we hope we can continue to break down barriers for those who come after us. It also provides a great opportunity for others to learn about the important role referees play in the game and may be inspired by it.” A few budding referees to join the team.

“I’m proud that my hard work has led to this opportunity, and I’m excited to see what the future holds in my umpiring career. I’m truly grateful for the support Cricket Australia and SACA have provided along the way, as well as my family and friends.”

Cricket Australia’s chief selector umpire Damien Meili was effusive in his praise of the pair.

“It is testament to the strong path of CA umpiring that both Claire and Eloise have progressed through our elite domestic competitions before officiating women’s T20, ODI and international Test matches,” Millie said.

“More recently, they both attended the Commonwealth Games and proudly represented their states and Australia with exemplary performances.

“As pioneers of women’s umpiring, they have set and maintained high standards and fully deserve this accolade to become the next first-class umpires of Australian cricket.”

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo


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