Redfern set to become first female umpire in men's first class game

cricket22 September 2023 14:40| © Reuters
Sue Redfern © Getty Images

Sue Redfern will become the first female umpire to stand in a men's first-class match in England next week after being appointed for the County Championship game between Glamorgan and Derbyshire, the country's cricket board (ECB) said on Friday.

The former England player, who was capped 21 times between 1995 and 1999, will umpire the match which begins on Tuesday at the Sophia Gardens.

It is the same venue where she became the first female umpire to officiate a home England men's match two years ago, when she was the fourth official for an international T20 game against Sri Lanka.

"I have worked hard to earn this opportunity and I look forward to taking the next step in my career by umpiring a men's first-class match," Redfern, 45, said in a statement.

"That 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."

Redfern has umpired at several major women's tournaments, including two 50-over World Cups, three T20 World Cups and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

She was also the first female umpire to stand in a Vitality Blast match between Gloucestershire and Middlesex earlier this year.

"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," she added.

"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."