Female umpire Claire Polosak all set to make a historic debut in men's cricket

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Female umpire Claire Polosak all set to make a historic debut in men's cricket

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SportsCafe Desk

10/04/2017

Claire Polosak is going to make history with her umpiring debut in JLT Cup one-day match between New South Wales and Cricket Australia XI, scheduled to be held on Sunday at the Hurstville Oval in Sydney. Polosak will become the first woman to officiate a first-class men's domestic fixture.

Polosak has never picked up a bat and also couldn't qualify the umpires' exam a few times, but she is all set to do what no other woman umpire has been able to do in Australia. Polosak is going officiate an Australian men's top-level fixture in Sydney. The 29-year-old will be on the field with veteran umpire Paul Wilson to officiate the New South Wales vs Cricket Australia XI one-day match on Sunday at the Hurstville Oval. Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc might also be present at the venue to feature for the Blues.

Earlier, Polosak had officiated four matches at the Women's World Cup in England. She had always been determined to become a cricket umpire despite never having played the game. 

"I never played cricket, which is a little bit interesting for some people," Polosak told Reuters in Sydney.

Further, she revealed how her parents encouraged her to venture into this field, despite it being a male-dominated profession. 

 "I always followed cricket, my parents got me into it and Dad would drive me up from Goulburn to do the umpires course. It took a few times to pass but it was something I was determined to do and I kept working through the grades in the Sydney competition."

For the past two years, Polosak has been on the Cricket Australia's development umpire panel and previously, she had been a third-umpire in men's domestic cricket. A substantial rise in standards is being expected this weekend, but Polosak said that her preparations would remain the same regardless of the occasion.

"There's preparation, there's playing conditions, learning the players, having a meeting with your teammate... discuss what signals you're going to be using, how you're going to communicate," Polosak added.

"Physically, it's very similar stuff to a player, fitness, core strength, back and legs because you're standing up on the field for seven hours.

"I've got mental triggers so I'm able to watch every ball as you go, so you can settle into that."

Polosak also talked about the engagement of female umpires in first-class men's cricket adding that he hoped that her debut would inspire other young women.

"We need to see more female umpires officiating at all levels of the game, as this allows others to see there is a path to follow. Hopefully other female umpires will realise that umpiring cricket at the elite level is a real possibility and that they can be involved,” she added.

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