Sue Redfern to become the first woman to officiate in a home match of England men's team

Sue Redfern to become the first woman to officiate in a home match of England men’s team

She will be the fourth umpire in the 1st T20I between England and Sri Lanka.

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

Sue Redfern is all set to become the first woman to officiate in a home international match of the England men’s team. She has been appointed as the fourth umpire for the first T20I match between England and Sri Lanka, which will be played in Cardiff on Wednesday. She replaced Alex Wharf, for whom she had been kept as a stand-by. 

This was done to ensure if the World Test Championship final goes into the sixth day, then the replacement umpire will be ready. With the rain in Southampton pushing the match to the sixth day, Redfern will step in in the first T20I. In an interaction, she revealed that she feels quite privileged and sees this as an opportunity to show women that they can be a part of the environment of men’s cricket.  

“It’s going to be a great experience,” Redfern said to ESPNcricinfo. “I’m feeling pretty privileged. It’s unexpected but at the same time, it’s a great opportunity to showcase that females can officiate in a variety of environments.” She was recently seen as an on-field umpire in the one-off Test between India and England women.

What we’re looking for is people with the right skills officiating in the right games: Sue Redfern

Redfern is a regular feature as an on-field umpire in women’s cricket and is a former English player as well. Interestingly, in 2016, she officiated in a match between Oman and Nigeria at the World Cricket League Division five match. In the same match, Jacqueline Williams, a West Indies-based official, stood as the third umpire, making it the first time when two women stood as officials in an ICC men’s tournament match.

Earlier this year, during a Test match between India and Australia in Sydney, Claire Polosak, an Australian had become the first woman to officiate in a men’s Test. She, too, stood as a fourth umpire. Redfern talked about how she supports women officiating in men’s matches and hopes this becomes a new normal. 

“I’d like to see any official, whatever their aspirations are, that they can fulfill those aspirations if they’re good enough. What we’re looking for is people with the right skills officiating in the right games,” Redfern added.