‘Breakthrough moment’ as Redfern becomes Blast’s first female umpire

Sue Redfern will become the first on-field female umpire in the Vitality Blast when Gloucestershire take on Middlesex on Sunday.

The 45-year-old joined the Professional Umpires Team, the ECB’s group of elite officials, in 2022 and is eligible to stand in men’s and women’s professional matches.

Redfern wrote on the ECB’s website: “When I walk out to the middle to officiate my first Vitality Blast game this Sunday I’m not quite sure how I’ll feel.

“It’ll be a breakthrough moment, not just for me, but for our sport and for female officials in general.

“I feel a bit awkward and count myself very fortunate because I’m doing something that I absolutely love as a job. I remind myself that I’ve worked extremely hard to progress my career to this stage and I’ve got to this point in my career on merit.

“The steps the ECB has taken over the past couple of seasons to make the umpiring pathway more inclusive have opened up opportunities like these for me and, from a personal perspective, this is just the next step in my progression as an umpire – with my ambition to be the best I can be.”

In April, New Zealander Kim Cotton became the first female on-field umpire to stand in a men’s international between two full-member nations when she officiated in New Zealand’s T20 against Sri Lanka in Dunedin.

Source : Sky Sports