Polosak to make history in Australia domestic cricket

New South Wales umpire Claire Polosak will make history during Australia’s domestic 50-over competition, when she becomes the first female to stand in an on-field umpiring role in an Australian men’s domestic match.

Polosak will debut in the match on Sunday 8 October, between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI at Hurstville Oval in Sydney.

The 29-year-old has been a member of Cricket Australia’s Development Umpire Panel since the 2015-16 season.

She has previously officiated as a third umpire during the men’s domestic one-day cup, also in the 2015-16 season.

Polosak said: “I’m very excited and I’m really looking forward to the experience. If you were to ask my 16-year-old self if I thought this would have happened when I first started umpiring, I definitely would not have thought I would be umpiring a men’s domestic match.

“To be entrusted with this opportunity is humbling. With my role at Cricket New South Wales working in female umpire engagement, I realise what I do can be incredibly important for other women.

“We need to see more female umpires officiating at all levels of the game, as this allows others to see there is a path to follow. Hopefully other female umpires will realise that umpiring cricket at the elite level is a real possibility and that they can be involved.”

Polosak has been a ground-breaker throughout her career. Her recent appointments include matches at the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England, and the 2016 ICC Women’s World T20.

She was also the first female to umpire an Australian domestic final, in last summer’s Women’s National Cricket League decider.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said Polosak’s debut was extremely well deserved.

“Claire’s achievements in such a short period of time at the elite level have been remarkable,” Sutherland said.

“In the space of less than three seasons, she has established herself as one of Australia’s leading umpires, impressing at domestic level and earning recognition with appointments to international matches and major tournaments such as the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup.

“This is an historic moment for our game, but I have no doubt that it will be like any other for Claire once she steps out onto the field.

“We wish Claire all the best for this match, and hope it is a success for her, and helps pave the way for more female umpires to officiate in men’s matches at the highest level.”

Polosak will be the second Development Umpire Panel member to make a men’s domestic debut during the JLT Cup, with Queensland’s Donovan Koch standing last week in the match between Queensland and the Cricket Australia XI.

Former Australian international umpire Bob Parry will also make his debut as a match referee during the JLT Cup, on 10 October, when the CA XI plays Victoria.