August 13, 2014

The game that takes people for who they are

ESPNcricinfo staff
Cate McGregor, who is transgender, tells Mike Selvey about the acceptance the cricket community has shown her

Writing in the Guardian, after the news that former boxing promoter Frank Maloney is undergoing gender reassignment and living as a woman called Kellie, Mike Selvey reflects on the experience of Cate McGregor, who writes on cricket as well as working for the Royal Australian Air Force. McGregor, who is transgender, tells Selvey about the acceptance the cricket community has shown her, leading Selvey to conclude "cricket has always been a game that on the whole takes people for who, rather than what, they are":

"I transitioned into two very alpha-male environments, the army and cricket," she said. "I have been humbled and thrilled at the generous reception I have received from the global cricket community." She told me of the early important support she had received from senior, iconic figures in cricket, such as the Chappell brothers, Ian (of whom she does a wicked earthy impression) and Greg; Brett Lee; and, in particular, Rahul Dravid, since announcing her transition in 2012. "All I did," Greg Chappell tells me, "was to respect her choices, and treat her as a person, without being judgmental."

"Ian and Greg have been incredibly supportive in a business-like, unassuming way," Cate acknowledged, "and the leadership of the Australian and England cricket teams have made it clear to me that I was welcome as a respected member of the media team." She tells of hearing about the Australian captain sitting his team down and, just in case there were any who might feel otherwise, insisting that she be treated with respect.