For the very first time, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has chosen four women as match officials for the upcoming ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier set to take place in Bangkok. Among them is Ngāti Maniapoto descendant and New Zealand's most experienced female umpire, Kathy Cross.
Cross is the only woman umpiring at a major level in New Zealand and will join Australia’s Claire Polosak, England’s Sue Redfern and the West Indies’ Jacqueline Williams.
Together, they will officiate eight international sides, including Bangladesh, China, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and Zimbabwe.
Born in Taumarunui, Cross is a familiar face within the New Zealand cricket scene and throughout the years has been hugely successful.
According to New Zealand Cricket, she has also stood at men's Ford Trophy level and became the first woman to be named on an ICC umpires’ panel when she was added to the ICC Associate and Affiliate panel of umpires in 2014.
She had previously umpired in the ICC Women’s World Cups in 2000, 2009 and 2013, the Women’s World Cup Qualifier in 2011, and the Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier in 2013.
Cross played cricket herself as a wicketkeeper, before transitioning to umpiring in 1998.
It is hoped that appointments such as this will encourage and inspire more women to become involved in officiating and participating in the game.
The Online News team hopes to bring you more on Kathy, as she prepares for the international Qualifier set to take place on November 28 to December 5.