No, really. That’s the logical direction this announcement takes the sport, surely:
(There are three balls in the above photograph)
The guidelines are here. There’s a large volume of text to be parsed but I have helpfully summarised it all for you. A man can play cricket for the female national team if he;
- Says he’s a woman, and
- Has taken hormone treatment long enough to keep his testosterone below a defined level.
Of course, these rules infer a “female” can wander around the shower room with his “female penis” intact because he’s a female according to Cricket Australia’s highly-scientific definition.
It’s worth having a read of the guidelines, particularly the clauses under section 6 – Expert Panel, where someone at Cricket Australia has clearly had massive doubts about the long-term sustainability of this ideological direction and tried to leave a loophole to be used to enable common-sense back in if things go too far.
The clauses in this section give power to a panel of experts to overrule a decision to allow a man to play in the elite women’s teams if they feel he has an unfair advantage. The evidence they can assess include biomechanical analysis. One assumes this might include such tests as whether a male fast bowler is sending blocks of wood wrapped in leather (cricket balls) at the heads of women faster than any woman can.
Using this example, we could compare the fastest female bowler on record, Cathryn Lorraine Fitzpatrick, who has managed to bowl at 125kmph, with every fast bowler in the current men’s team who are all consistently over the 140kmph mark.
The next level down from the national team is the Sheffield Shield. An upcoming bowler in that competition is Chadd Sayers, who has been overlooked for the national team several times because he doesn’t bowl fast enough. Chadd’s average bowling speed? Oh, just a sedate 130kmph, or 5kmph faster than the fastest female bowler in history.
Oh, that’s awkward.
The definitions section is good for a chuckle too as it tries to define in legalistic terms such nouns as sex, gender and LGBTQI+.
It’ll be fun to review how that stood the test of time in a few years.
Firstly, this is another excellent example of O’Sullivan’s Law, which states, “any organisation or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time“.
Cricket Australia has clearly been hijacked by activists and have responded by producing a policy that, ironically, is neither one thing or another.
It claims to provide an unambiguous pathway for transgender cricketers to play in elite teams but it has a large loophole which allows for a panel of “experts” (defined how? Appointed by whom?) to judge the player to have too great a physical advantage to play for the women’s team.
The interesting point, however, is to look for the dog that isn’t barking, that is, what isn’t being reported or described in the policy?
There is no mention of what qualifying steps and proof a female to male transitioning cricket player would have to undertake to play in the men’s elite team. If anyone can think of a credible reason why they’ve left this detail out, please send a postcard with your answer to:
60 Jolimont Street,
There are really only three ways this policy change can go over time:
- One or more men with the unique combination of chutzpah and cricketing ability will use these rules to claim a place on the national women’s team and will be refused, will sue for damages and drag the sport into its own version of the Israel Folau debacle, or
- Cricket Australia will accept those men into the national women’s team and the ensuing public and international backlash will drag the sport into its own version of the Israel Folau debacle, or
- No man with enough cricketing ability will ever be stupid enough to claim female status.
It’s a tricky one to predict, but my suspicion is (2) is most likely as there are currently enough men who are autogynephilic that one of them is bound to try to push the envelope further. The result will be a destruction of the restricted group competition we call women’s cricket in Australia.