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Australian set to become the first transgender competitor in international cricket

by News Desk

A cricketer from Australia could be making history this week as the first transgender athlete to play in an international series.

Danielle McGahey has been named in Canada’s T20 cricket squad for the upcoming Women’s T20 Americas Qualifier on September 4-11. The tournament is a pathway to the 2024 T20 World Cup.

For more than two years, the Australian expat has undergone blood tests every month to determine her testosterone levels meet the requirements set out by the International Cricket Council (ICC). She has also had to provide all her medical information and personal history.

Speaking with BBC Sport, McGahey said she is “honoured” to play for Canada and to rewrite history.

“To be able to represent my community is something I never dreamed I would be able to do,” she said.

The ICC said the 29-year-old has met all eligibility guidelines for male to female (MTF) transition, set out by the international cricket body, to compete in the women’s competition.

“We can confirm that Danielle went through the process as required under the ICC’s Player Eligibility Regulations, and as a result has been deemed eligible to participate in international women’s cricket on the basis that she satisfies the MTF transgender eligibility criteria,” a spokesperson from ICC told ESPNcricinfo.

As of the ICC’s amendments to its Player Eligibility Regulations in 2021, the current testosterone levels required for MTF transgender players is 5 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L), which they must consistently meet over 12 months prior to competition.

The ICC also requires MTF players to “provide a written and signed declaration, in a form satisfactory to the designated medical officer, that her gender identity is female”.

McGahey, who socially transitioned in 2020 and underwent medical transition in 2021, has performed in domestic competitions in Canada.

She is set to make her debut for Canada as a leading batter on September 4.

Trans athletes in Australia

Australia’s player eligibility regulations for trans athletes are much stricter than the ICC’s guidelines. 

In May 2023, the Australia Institute of Sport released their guidelines for inclusion of trans athletes in high performance sport.

Compared to the ICC’s requirement for testosterone levels of 5 nmol/L over 12 months before competition, the AIS recommend the “appropriate range” to be less than 2.5 nmol/L for 24 months prior to competition.

The AIS states this level may change and vary, depending on the sport and its physiological demands. 

The organisation said the “values-led approach” to the guidelines are based on the “spirit of inclusion”.

“The AIS is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion in high performance (HP) sport, and to support HP stakeholder bodies in the development of policies and resources that support the athlete experience,” they said in the foreword of the guidelines.

The guidelines received mixed responses from various stakeholders in Australia. In June, transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey spoke with The Sydney Morning Herald expressing her support for the guidelines.

“I don’t think they could’ve done it any better. They’re awesome,” she said.

But the Queer Sporting Alliance said the guidelines are “hard to face” in a statement on social media.

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A post shared by Queer Sport 🛼🥏 (@queersportingalliance)

“Testosterone levels can fluctuate in cis gendered women, well above the levels set by the AIS,” the statement read.

“If the AIS guidelines were applied strictly to all competitors, they would exclude some current female athletes.”

The post Australian set to become the first transgender competitor in international cricket appeared first on Women’s Agenda.

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