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India's GS Lakshmi to be match referee in Women's World Cup final

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Christchurch, April 1 (IANS) India’s GS Lakshmi on Friday was named as the Match Referee for the final of ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup between defending champions England and Australia at Hagley Oval on April 3, said the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Lakshmi, who was the first woman ever in the Emirates ICC International Panel of Match Referees in May 2019, also oversaw the semi-final between England and South Africa at the same venue on Thursday. The final of 2022 ODI World Cup serves as a significant milestone for the 53-year-old, who first officiated as a match referee in India domestic women’s cricket in 2008/09.

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In December 2019, Lakshmi made history by becoming the first female match referee to oversee a men’s ODI with the opening match of the third series of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 between hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United States of America (USA).

Lauren Agenbag of South Africa and Kim Cotton of New Zealand will be the two on-field umpires while West Indies’ Jacqueline Williams, who in 2020 became the first female to officiate as the Third Umpire in a men’s international match, will also take charge as the TV Umpire here.

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Langton Rusere of Zimbabwe will be the Fourth Umpire. Cotton was the only woman Match Official in the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 between Australia and India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on March 8.

It will be the first time that a global cricket tournament final will have four women Match Officials on duties. As part of its strategic commitment to a gender equitable sport, the ICC has focused on increasing the number of international female match officials, with women comprising eight of the 15 match officials at the ODI World Cup 2022.

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–IANS

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