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Cricket news - GS Lakshmi appointed first female match referee by ICC

GS Lakshmi first officiated in domestic women's cricket in 2008-09

GS Lakshmi has become the first ever woman to be appointed to the ICC International Panel of Match Referees. The 51-year-old's appointment comes close on the heels of Claire Polosak becoming the first ever woman umpire to stand in a men's ODI.

Lakshmi first officiated in domestic women's cricket in 2008-09, and 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," Lakshmi said. "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.

"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."

In another major appointment, Australia's Eloise Sheridan has joined Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires, meaning the number of women on that panel is now up to eight. Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Shivani Mishra, Sue Redfern, Mary Waldron and Jacqueline Williams are the other women officials on that panel.

Sheridan was the reserve umpire for two games during the Men's Big Bash League 2018-19 and umpired four matches in the Women's Big Bash League in the same year. In October 2018, she also became the first woman in Australia to umpire a men's first-grade Premier Cricket final.

"As a player, cricket allowed me to travel, meet wonderful people and share a mutual love for the game. It is great now to be able to continue my involvement in cricket in a different role, and give something back to the game that has been such a big part of my life," Sheridan said. "I couldn't take up opportunities like this without the continued support of the South Australian Cricket Association and Cricket Australia, as well as my very understanding partner."

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