Danielle McGahey was selected for a qualification competition for the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup, meaning that Canada will have its first transgender cricket player in an official international match.
McGahey, the opening batter who was born in Australia, relocated to Canada in February 2020 and started his medical transition in May 2021.
Although they were changed two years ago, the International Cricket Council’s transgender player policies are still more lax than those recently implemented by some other sports.
Sports have to strike a balance between diversity and making sure women’s sports don’t have an unfair advantage, which has made transgender rights in sports a contentious topic.
“The concentration of testosterone in her serum has been less than 5 nmol/L1 continuously for a period of at least 12 months, and that she is ready, willing, and able to continue to keep it below that level for so long as she continues to compete” is a requirement for trans women who wish to play women’s international cricket.
A transgender athlete who identifies as male must furthermore “provide a written and signed declaration, in a form satisfactory to the designated medical officer, that her gender identity is female,” according to the ICC.
Canada, the United States, Brazil, and Argentina are competing in the competition, which gets underway in Los Angeles on Monday. The victor will get a spot in Bangladesh for the T20 World Cup the following year.
“Danielle’s selection was based on ICC’s player eligibility regulations for male-to-female transgender players,” a Cricket Canada official told the BBC.
“Danielle submitted her application to the ICC, and Cricket Canada complied with the ICC regulations throughout the process, allowing Danielle to be selected for the Canadian team.”
Declaring that Danielle met the MTF (male to female) transgender eligibility requirements, the ICC said in a statement: “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.”
Before the last 18 months, when a number of significant international federations started to impose more stringent regulations, cricket’s rules were similar to those of many other sports.
Tight regulations were implemented by global Aquatics in June 2022, while World Athletics said in March of this year that female transgender athletes who have experienced male puberty would not be allowed to participate in female global ranking events after March 31.