The woman in the white coat

New Zealand umpire Kathy Cross, the first woman to be named to an ICC umpires panel, talks about her journey so far (03:56)

Interviewer: Raunak Kapoor

February 5, 2014


The woman in the white coat

February 5, 2014

Raunak Kapoor: I'm delighted to have with me Kathy Cross, the New Zealand umpire who became the first woman to be named in an ICC umpires panel. Kathy has been added to the ICC Associate and Affiliate Panel of Umpires.

Kathy Cross umpiring during a match, February 5, 2014
Kathy Cross is now eligible to officiate in World Cricket League Divisions 3 to 6 © Ian Jacob

Kathy, firstly many congratulations to you on your appointment.

Kathy Cross: Thank you very much. I'm very happy.

RK: Where did the interest in cricket as well as umpiring at a professional level come from? It's not something we often hear women taking up.

KC: The interest originally came from all my children playing cricket from a very young age. Both my boys still play the odd game of club cricket. So I was involved in taking them to their cricket and I also did a little bit of scoring as they got a little bit older and went to college.

I also played a bit of cricket, not particularly for many years, and when I finished playing, my college asked me if I was interested in umpiring, and that's really where it all started.

RK: Tell us about the journey Kathy. Internally in New Zealand, how did you grow as an umpire from club level to higher levels? You've officiated at the highest level in the women's game. How was the journey, and what challenges did you face being a woman umpire?

"You know, we never know as umpires what opportunities come our way. I just go through those different stages and do the best I can at the game that I love doing"

KC: The journey was fantastic. Getting opportunities in New Zealand cricket, through New Zealand cricket, were absolutely fantastic for me.

Of course we all start somewhere, and I started at our grass-roots level, which is club cricket. I also did school cricket, both boys and girls, and gradually as time went by, the level of umpiring went up.

You know, we never know as umpires what opportunities come our way. All I concentrate on is doing the best I can at what level I'm doing currently and the new challenges with the ICC Associate and Affiliates panel, so I just go through those different stages and do the best I can at the game that I love doing.

RK: Lastly, Kathy, you'll be moving from women's to men's cricket now. What do you think is the biggest challenge for an umpire making the switch?

KC: I still do men's cricket. I'm doing club cricket at the Men's Premiere Grade in our province. There are different things about the game in the women's and the men's, but the level of intensity, I assume, is still the same at its different levels.

RK: Thank you very much, Kathy. You're an inspiration to all the women around the world who'd like to take up umpiring at the professional level. Congratulations once again and thank you for talking to us.

Posted by anton_ego on (February 5, 2014, 17:06 GMT)

Extremely proud that the 'gentleman's game' is open and accepting in this regard to let a lady officiate at this level. Not many sports around the world has done such a thing. Congrats and I am waiting to see Kathy in big games in ICC events. At least some people in the cricket administration are doing their job well!

Posted by   on (February 5, 2014, 10:49 GMT)

Great interview Raunak Kapoorji.GREAT even women are joining the umpires squad. All the best.

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