Danielle McGahey, Trailblazing Transgender Athlete, Reflects on Her Historic Career in Women’s Internationals

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The first transgender to play in women’s internationals, Danielle McGahey, has acknowledged “with a heavy heart” that her international cricketing career for Canada “is over” after a key change to ICC’s gender eligibility requirements that prohibited transgenders from participating in women’s internationals.

“Following the ICC’s decision this morning, it is with a heavy heart that I must say that my international cricketing career is over,” McGahey posted on Instagram. “As quickly as it began, it must now end.”

The ICC board on Tuesday approved new rules which state that any player who has transitioned from male to female and has been through any form of male puberty will not be allowed to participate in women’s international cricket, regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken.

“It is based on the following principles (in order of priority), protection of the integrity of the women’s game, safety, fairness and inclusion,” the ICC said in a statement. “The regulations will be reviewed within two years.” ICC CEO Geoff Allardice added: “Inclusivity is incredibly important to us as a sport, but our priority was to protect the integrity of the international women’s game and the safety of players.”

McGahey, 29, originally from Australia, moved to Canada in 2020 and underwent a male-to-female medical transition in 2021. In September this year, she played for Canada in the Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Qualifier that acts as the pathway for the Women’s T20 World Cup 2024.

“While I hold my opinions on the ICC’s decision, they are irrelevant,” McGahey wrote. “What matters is the message being sent to millions of trans women today, a message saying that we don’t belong. I promise I will not stop fighting for equality for us in our sport, we deserve the right to play cricket at the highest level, we are not a threat to the integrity or safety of the sport.”

McGahey played six T20Is and scored 118 runs at an average of 19.66 and a strike rate of 95.93.

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