Report: Transgender Cricket Player Competes Against Girls as Young as Twelve Years Old
A “middle-aged” biological male who identifies as a female is the source of controversy overseas as parents are upset with the male being allowed to compete in cricket matches against girls as young as 12, the Telegraph reported.
Parents and coaches have reportedly sent multiple letters to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) demanding answers as to why the biological male is allowed to compete against their young girls.
In one letter, a coach claimed the transgender player “hits the ball harder than any other I have seen in the league.”
The transgender player also reportedly caused injuries to opponents and umpires in the past. One opponent that the transgender player injured “was left unable to play for months,” the Telegraph reported.
One parent called the situation “unacceptable, uncomfortable and dangerous.”
The parent of a 12-year-old girl fears their daughter and her teammates would “give up on cricket, because they become so frightened about having to face bowling and fielding of that strength and force.”
“Many girls at this age are only just starting hard-ball cricket, and one incident is enough to turn them off the game,” the parent added.
The ECB has some of the most lenient rules on transgender athletes, stating that “trans women may compete in any female-only competition, league or match and should be accepted in the gender in which they present.”
In light of these rules, the transgender player’s club reportedly objected to the suggestion that they would have to ask the transgender cricket player to “hold back.”
Still, ECB is reportedly reviewing its transgender athlete policy.
An ECB spokesperson said:
Transgender participation is a complex area. In recreational cricket, the eligibility of players is based on their own self-identified gender, with no medical requirements. However, in light of guidance from the UK Sports Council’s Equality Group (SCEG), we are currently reviewing. We will continue to consult with Sport England and other independent experts and will communicate any changes once this work is complete.
Fair Play for Women sports director Fiona McAnena praised the ECB for reviewing its policy but urged them to enact more robust protections for girls’ sports.
“[U.K. Sports Council’s Equality Group] state clearly that fairness and safety for women and girls are compromised if trans-identifying males are in female teams,” McAnena said.
“It’s good to see the ECB is reviewing its policy of letting males into women’s teams without restriction. If they want to protect and promote women’s cricket, they must protect the talent pathway. The only way is to make female teams for those born female and no one else,” she concluded.