Cricket Australia’s new transgender policy that provides parents with the option to identify if their budding cricketers as young as 5-years-old as “gender fluid” or “non-binary” when signing up for their local clubs has sparked criticism. The option of “differently identify” is also available.
One Nation MP Mark Latham reportedly said it wasn’t relevant to ask young kids about their gender.
“Poor little kids, struggling to work out where deep mid-wicket fields, now have to sift through the gender alphabet,” Latham told the Daily Telegraph on Sept. 25.
“It’s irrelevant for children that young, another ridiculous obsession with gender fluidity that has to do with playing junior cricket.
“Cricket Australia needs to wake up to themselves and drop the PC nonsense for little kids,” Latham said.
Cricket Australia’s introduced its Inclusion of Transgender and Gender Diverse guidelines in August 2019 requiring local clubs and indoor sports centres to provide parents with the option of identifying their child with a non-specific gender title.
Players are able to participate in cricket competitions in “accordance with their gender identity” rather than their biological sex.
Cricket Australia’s policy also encourages the use of gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them/their/ze.
John Whitehall, a pediatrics professor from Western Sydney University, reportedly raised concerns that allowing players who were previously male to play in female games could damage women’s sport when the policy was introduced.
“This will bring unfair competition by males,” Whitehall said.
The new guidelines also require clubs to consider changing facility signage in favour of unisex or gender-neutral symbols.
“People who identify as non-binary may prefer to use unisex or gender-neutral facilities,” the cricket policy states.
“Change room and shower arrangements should be considered to ensure that are suitable for all participants.”
When asked if questions about children’s sexuality were inappropriate a Cricket Australia spokesman said: “We want to create the best experience for anybody playing cricket and that includes providing an inclusive environment.
“It’s been 12 months since Cricket Australia launched our guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in cricket.”
Alex Blackwell, former Sydney captain, praised Cricket Australia for the development of the guidelines.
“Australian cricket has a really wonderful purpose and that’s to be Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians,” Blackwell said in a blog post.