UAE to have first ever female match referee in a men's ODI during World Cup League 2

GS Lakshmi to officiate during ICC men’s World Cup League 2, starting with the match between UAE and USA

India’s GS Lakshmi is set to become the first female match referee to oversee a men's ODI. Courtesy: ICC
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UAE will witness history this week with India’s GS Lakshmi set to become the first female match referee in a men's one-day international during the ICC men’s World Cup League 2.

Lakshmi will officiate during the third series of the WCL 2. The first match is between UAE and USA on December 8 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

It will be the second milestone in Lakshmi's journey this year, following her appointment as the first woman in the ICC international panel of match referees in May.

Lakshmi, 51, first officiated as a match referee in domestic women’s cricket in 2008-09, has now overseen three women’s ODI matches, 16 men’s T20 Internationals and seven women’s T20 Internationals.

Speaking on the developments, Lakshmi told the ICC's website: "It feels great, having anything assigned 'first' to your name gives me a sense of pride. This being a big ICC event feels great to be officiating at this level."

Lakshmi recalled how cricket played a major part in her college days.

“I played cricket with my brothers and friends, when they [college] saw my skills, I had a natural bowling action, they immediately accepted me to the college and I then played for my state in domestic cricket for 18 years.”

Lakshmi hopes other women follow in her footsteps.

"These qualification events provide a good platform to prepare officials and provide them opportunities to gain valuable experience. I hope my promotion can inspire many females. This is definitely another career opportunity for women.”

Earlier, Claire Polosak became the first woman umpire to stand in a men’s ODI during the final of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in April.