Sue Redfern set to become first female umpire in County Championship

Sue Redfern is one of the most experienced umpires in England.

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Sue Redfern
Sue Redfern. (Photo by Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Sue Redfern, who played 21 matches for England, and was also a part of their 1997 ODI World Cup squad, is set to become the first female umpire to stand in a men's first-class match in England and Wales when Glamorgan face Derbyshire in a County Championship Division Two match at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, starting September 26.

She was an umpire in the one-off Women's Ashes Test earlier this year. All set to get into the history books, Redfern expressed her excitement and explained what it meant for her. 

"It has been an ambition of mine for a long time and, while it is a new challenge that will test me, I know that I am ready for it. I have worked hard to earn this opportunity and I look forward to taking the next step in my career. I hope my journey can also be an inspiration to others," she was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"Umpiring has become such a fulfilling part of my life and while my focus is on being the best umpire I can be, I hope my journey can also be an inspiration to others. When I started umpiring I had to balance other work commitments with my umpiring, but it is now a career I can solely focus on. I am proud of the steps I have taken and that I am proving that opportunities now exist in umpiring for anyone if they're willing to work hard and dedicate themselves," she added.

Interestingly, Redfern created history in 2021 in Cardiff when she became the first female umpire to officiate in a home England men's match. She was the fourth umpire in a T20I against Sri Lanka. The 45-year-old also became the first female to umpire in a T20 Blast encounter between Gloucestershire and Middlesex earlier this year.

Redfern has also umpired at global tournaments like the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Women's T20 World Cups, and Women's ODI World Cups. She was named in the Professional Umpires' Team last year, which gave her the distinction of umpiring in first-class cricket in England.

Glamorgan and Derbyshire are placed fifth and sixth, respectively, on the points table. They are separated by 35 points with Derbyshire currently playing Sussex at home. On the other hand, Glamorgan drew their most recent encounter against Yorkshire in Cardiff.

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