With the start of the third test match between India and Australia in Sydney, 32-year-old Claire Polosak from Australia became the first woman ever to officiate in a men’s test match. She took on the role of the fourth umpire in the test.
The on-field umpires for the test match were two former pacers Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson while the TV Umpire was Bruce Oxenford.
A resident of New South Wales’s Goulburn city, Polosak began umpiring at the age of 15. Her umpiring career in international cricket began in 2015 with her appointment to the ICC women’s T20 qualifying tournament in Thailand, where she officiated eight matches including the final.
Apart from her experience in the men’s game, Polosak has officiated in 17 women’s ODIs, with an additional three matches as third umpire. As for T20Is, she has stood as an umpire in 33 Women’s T20Is, with an additional five matches as the third umpire.
— ICC (@ICC) January 7, 2021
“I never played cricket, but I always followed cricket, and my parents got me into it [umpiring], Dad used to drive me up from Goulburn to do the umpires course here. It took a few times to pass but it was something I was determined to do and I just kept working through the grades in Sydney competition.
“I’ve probably had to work a little bit harder [than men] but it’s all part of the enjoyment, and being able to do well makes it even better. It just shows there is a pathway now, there are increased opportunities,” Polosak had earlier said while talking about her umpiring career.
Polosak, however, is not new to creating records. Earlier in April 2019, she also became the first woman to umpire a men’s one-day international when she officiated the final of the World Cricket League Division 2 between Oman and Namibia played at the Windhoek. Also, in December 2018, she and Eloise Sheridan became the first women to officiate on the field together during a professional match in Australia when the Adelaide Strikers faced the Melbourne Stars in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
Hasn’t Polosak really shattered the glass ceiling by achieving this incredible feat? We hope her achievements inspire more women to take up this role in an otherwise male-dominated arena.