Jaqueline Williams among record six female umpires to officiate Women’s T20 tourney

Jacqueline Williams (Photo: ESPNCricinfo)

West Indies umpire Jacqueline Williams is the lone Jamaican announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as a match official for the league phase of the Women’s T20 World Cup, which kicks off on Friday, February 21.

A record six female umpires are set to take the reins for the 23-match tournament, with Williams standing alongside Shaun George in the opening bout between Australia and India.

The Jamaican joins fellow umpires Lauren Agenbag, Kim Cotton, Claire Polosak and Sue Redfern with India’s GS Lakshmi poised to become the first women’s match referee at a global ICC event.

Senior Manager of umpires and referees at the ICC Adrian Griffith called the list of officials historic and encouraging.

“This is the largest compliment of women match officials at a single event, and the progress we have made is heartening. We have endeavoured to provide opportunities to women officials based on merit, and it is because of their skillset and hard work that they have graduated to the top level,” he disclosed.

The ultimate prize for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup (Photo: ICC Cricket)

“We appoint the best match officials for an event and are pleased we have the right mix. I wish all match officials at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup the very best and am confident we will have smooth adjudication of the matches,” Griffith, a former Barbadian batman, added.

Williams is one of two West Indies umpires down to officiate during the February 21 to March 8 tournament, with Barbadian Gregory Brathwaite also included.

The West Indies Women get their T20 campaign underway on Saturday, February 22 in their opener against newcomers Thailand. The match will be officiated by Claire Polosak, who pairs with Nitin Menon.