The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that transgender women cricketers will be banned from participating in elite international women's matches if they have gone through male puberty. This policy comes after a lengthy 9-month consultation process and aligns with policies enacted by several other major sports federations.

The new regulations state that "any male to female participants who have been through any form of male puberty will not be eligible to participate in the international women’s game regardless of any surgery or gender reassignment treatment they may have undertaken." This is intended to protect the integrity and safety of the women's game.

The policy was spurred in part by the participation of Canadian transgender cricketer Danielle McGahey in official women's T20 matches earlier this year. McGahey had satisfied previous ICC eligibility criteria regarding testosterone levels. However, the ICC determined new standards were necessary.

This ruling applies only to elite international cricket matches. Individual countries can implement their own policies regarding domestic cricket. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated that it will consider how these regulations impact its current transgender athlete policy.

This follows similar policies enacted by other sports like rugby, swimming, and cycling that also cited fairness and safety concerns as rationale. However, implementing such bans remains controversial, as they inherently impact inclusion.

The Football Association (FA) in England is also currently reviewing its transgender policy after a local incident where teams refused to compete against a club with a transgender player. This showcases the complexity organisations face in balancing fairness, safety and inclusion regarding participation of transgender athletes.

While the ICC feels this policy protects women’s cricket, it will undoubtedly be met with mixed reactions. It continues a complex debate happening across high-level sports. Sports leaders grapple with crafting ideal policies that consider all factors and perspectives surrounding participation of transgender athletes.