After Cricket Australia made the move to allow transgender and gender-diverse people play the sport at all levels from local clubs through to the top, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decided to weigh in, saying it’s “mystifying” and “heavy-handed.”
Per the SBS, Morrison spoke with 2GB on Friday afternoon, and said that the guidelines issued by Cricket Australia were “heavy-handed, to put it mildly”, and that “why there’s a necessity to get the sledgehammer out on this is mystifying me.”
He believes that athletes being required to maintain a certain level of testosterone is a “heavy mandatory way of doing it”, and says that there are more practical ways of managing the inclusion of gender-diverse players wanting to join the sport, and that these should be managed at a club level, instead of being handed down by Cricket Australia.
As it stands, Cricket Australia’s policy is a top-down approach. A roll-out of guidelines for acceptance and inclusion working from elite clubs right down to the local leagues, instead of a club-by-club approach.
Heavily inspired by the policies of International Cricket, the new Australia policy states that “a Player will be eligible to participate in the category of Elite Cricket consistent with their Gender Identity, whether or not this accords with the Sex they were assigned at birth in line with this clause.”
Acceptance needs to be a lead-by-example approach, where inclusivity is active in elite levels, inspiring and encouraging lower leagues to follow suit.
Imagine having one club being active in their inclusivity of trans and gender-diverse players, but another club stubbornly remaining steadfast in outdated views. The sport would simply not progress with the world around it.
Regardless, we all know what happens every time a prime minister involves themselves in cricket, anyway.
Image: Getty Images / Tracey Nearmy