Sue Redfern will become the first International Cricket Council-appointed female neutral umpire to stand in a bilateral series as she has been named for the upcoming ICC Women’s Championship and T20I fixtures between Australia and South Africa.
Redfern’s appointment follows the ICC’s decision to appoint one neutral umpire for all ICC Women’s Championship series as well as any T20I matches scheduled with them, ensuring some neutrality in running matches while also keeping in mind the long-term development of female umpires.
ICC’s General Manager of Cricket, Wasim Khan, sees this as a huge development as more opportunities open for women umpires.
“This is a watershed moment for women’s cricket as we look to both implement a female match officials’ pathway programme and accelerate officiating opportunities for our very best performers. Neutral appointments will give female umpires more exposure to different conditions and will support the learning and development of local female umpires who officiate alongside them.
“Last year we had the first all-female match officials’ panel at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa and so it is important that we build on that momentum through a combination of development and high-quality opportunities.”
The ICC will prioritise female officials for the neutral umpires’ role in ICC Women’s Championship series. The ICC-appointed female umpires will get match-day pay parity with their male counterparts on the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Umpires and receive comparable perks.
The female neutral umpires will be selected on merit and more of them will find themselves in the Emirates ICC International Panel of Umpires in the coming years, as part of ICC’s strategic ambition to advance the involvement and visibility of women both on and off field within the game.
Redfern is confident her appointment will help build momentum and boost the growth of female match officials.
“It’s an honour to be named by the ICC as its first official female neutral umpire and I’m very excited about the upcoming series between Australia and South Africa.
“This is a defining moment for both women’s cricket and female cricket officials, who have worked hard and been given development opportunities in recent years.
“I’ve seen the landscape evolve for female officials and how many are now being recognised and supported across many countries. I am sure this appointment can help build momentum and visibility to help further develop female officials across the world in the future.
“Personally, I would like to thank the ICC and the ECB for their support over the years and I look forward to more such appointments.”
Redfern, who played in six Tests and 15 ODIs for England between 1995 and 1999 including four in the 1997 World Cup in India, has been on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires since 2016. She has officiated in two ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups (2017 and 2022) and three ICC Women’s T20 World Cups (2018, 2022 and 2024).
The Australia vs South Africa matches that Redfern will be officiating in are:
Bilateral T20I series:
1st T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra, 27 January
2nd T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra, 28 January
3rd T20I, Bellerive Oval, Hobart, 30 January
ICC Women’s Championship:
1st ODI, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3 February
2nd ODI, North Sydney Oval, Sydney, 7 February
3rd ODI, North Sydney Oval, Sydney, 10 February