Cricket Australia: First female umpires appointed for Marsh Sheffield Shield matches

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Photo Credit: ICC

Cricket Australia (CA) is pleased to confirm Claire Polosak and Eloise Sheridan will make history as the first women to be appointed as on-field match officials in the Marsh Sheffield Shield.

Both umpires have previously officiated in women’s international fixtures, the Marsh One-Day Cup and KFC Big Bash League as well as the Women’s National Cricket League and Weber Women’s Big Bash League.

Polosak will partner Sam Nogajski at the WACA Ground when Western Australia take on South Australia on November 15, while Sheridan will umpire Victoria’s match against Queensland at the MCG alongside Gerard Abood from November 16.

Polosak has progressed through the umpiring pathway in New South Wales. She became the first woman to umpire a men’s domestic fixture in Australia in 2017, before becoming the first woman to stand in a men’s One Day International in 2019.

She also became the first female umpire to officiate in a men’s Test match as the fourth umpire in the third Test of India’s tour of Australia in January 2021.

Both Polosak and Sheridan were the on-field umpires for the Final of the Women’s Big Bash League in 2020, the first time two female umpires have officiated together in an Australian domestic final.

Sheridan made her women’s Test debut as an on-field umpire during the 2022 Ashes series and has previously umpired in the ICC Women’s World Cup after progressing through the South Australian umpiring pathway.

CA’s Umpiring Chairman of Selectors, Damien Mealey said:

“It is testament to the strong CA umpire pathway that both Claire and Eloise have progressed through our elite domestic competitions before officiating in international women’s T20, ODI and Test matches.

“More recently, both attended the Commonwealth Games and represented their states and Australia proudly with exemplary performances.

“As pioneers in women’s officiating, they have set and maintained a high standard and thoroughly deserve this accolade of becoming Australian cricket’s next first-class umpires.”

Sheridan and Polosak both said they were excited to make their Marsh Sheffield Shield debuts.

“I am excited to be making my men’s first-class debut and honoured to be doing so in the same round as Claire,” Sheridan said.

“This is a significant moment for umpiring in Australia, and hopefully we can continue to break down barriers for those who come after us. It also provides a great opportunity for others to recognise the important role that umpires play in the game and it might inspire a few budding umpires to join the team.

“I am proud that my hard work has resulted in this opportunity and excited to see what the future holds in my umpiring career. I am really grateful for the support from Cricket Australia and SACA along the way, as well as my family and friends.

“I am very much looking forward to standing in the Sheffield Shield match at the WACA Ground,” Polosak said.

“Just like players, umpires are always working towards opportunities at higher honours, and this is undoubtedly another step forward on the pathway for umpires. Thank you to Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW and the NSW Cricket Umpires’ and Scorers’ Association for their support. 

“I’d especially like to extend my appreciation to the countless umpiring colleagues that I have had the pleasure to stand with. I have learned from every single one of them and this appointment is standing on their shoulders.” 

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