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First for women umpires

Sky Sports Sky Sports 25/11/2015

The International Cricket Council has appointed four female match officials for the first time ahead of the women's World Twenty20 Qualifier in Bangkok, which starts on Saturday. 

Former England left-arm spinner Sue Redfern is one of the quartet, alongside New Zealander Kathleen Cross, Australia's Claire Polosak and the West Indies' Jacqueline Williams.

<p>Clare Connor</p> © BSkyB

Clare Connor

They will be joined by fellow umpires Allan Haggo and Nigel Morrison, with Graeme Labrooy as match referee, as eight nations battle for the final two spots at the women's ICC World Twenty20 India 2016.

"I feel incredibly fortunate to be given the opportunity to test my skills and be part of such an important tournament," Redfern said.

The 38-year-old, who appeared in six Tests and 15 ODIs from 1995 to 1999, added: "As a former international player, I understand how seeing female umpires is incredibly powerful and demonstrates to women they can undertake any role in cricket they wish.

"It is important for the game to progress but, at the same time, it's imperative I perform on-field and deliver to ensure the players get the best experiences. I will be using the time to share ideas with and learn things from others to further enhance my skills."

Chair of ICC Women's Cricket Committee Clare Connor added: "It is a great step forward for the ICC's overarching strategy with members to increase the representation of women across all aspects of the game."

The qualifier will take place in Thailand from November 28 to December 5, with Bangladesh, China, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Thailand and Zimbabwe all taking part.

Next year's women's World Twenty20 showpiece will take place alongside the men's event from March 11 to April 3.

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