Top Five Best Female Umpires in the History of Cricket

Take a look at the top five female umpires who have greatly influenced the male-dominated field and officiated numerous cricket matches.

The traditional male-dominated field of officiating has undergone a major transition in the past few decades with the active inclusion of female umpires. For decades, highly competitive cricket matches were officiated mainly by male umpires, including prominent names such as Nitin Menon, Anil Chaudhary, Dickie Bird, Aleem Dar, Darrell Hair, Rudi Koertzen, Simon Taufel and many more, until the women umpires made a breakthrough in the field of umpiring. Breaking through the age-old stereotypes and societal norms. Claire Polosak created history as she established herself as the first female umpire to ever officiate a men’s one-day international (ODI) match. Additionally, many other female umpires, including Vrinda Rathi, N Janani and V Gayarthi created waves in cricket history by being the first female cricketers to ever officiate the Ranji Trophy Tournament. Moreover, Vrinda Rathi also served as the first female captain to ever officiate a test match between India and England at the DY Patil Stadium, in Mumbai, India. In addition to elevating the underrated stature of women in the world of cricket, the career milestones of these eminent female umpires and their terrific milestones act as a formidable source of inspiration for young and aspiring female cricketers to improve and upscale their overall performance on the field. 

Claire Polosak 

Australian female cricket umpire and a former school teacher, Claire Antonia Polasak, has established herself as one of the most influential on-field umpires. As of 2024, Claire Polosak has officiated a total of 99 professional cricket matches, including a total of 12 T20Is in the year 2022, a total of two WTests between 2022-2024, a total of 31 WODIs between 2016-2024, a total of 53 WT20Is between 2015-2024 and the most iconic and record-setting ODI match between India and England in 2019 where she served as the first female umpire in the world to ever officiate a men’s ODI match. Additionally, Claire Polosak was also the female umpire along with Eloise Sheridan to officiate a national final match during the 2020–21 Women’s Big Bash League season. Furthermore, Polosak was named as the official on-field umpire for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand. Recently, in 2023, Claire Polosak was revered on a global scale for being the first female umpire to officiate a Sheffield Shield between Western Australia and South Australia at the WACA Ground.

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Sue Redfern 

Former English cricketer and current cricket umpire, Suzanne Redfern MBE is often considered to be one of the greatest female umpires in the history of cricket. As mentioned earlier, Suzanne Redfern represented England’s women’s cricket side from 1995 to 1999. After announcing an official retirement from all formats of cricket, Sue Redfern was selected as an on-field umpire to officiate the 2025 ODI between Australia and England. In her glorious umpiring career, Sue Redfern has officiated a total of 80 cricket matches, including a total of 44 W T20Is, 25 WODIs, 3 WTests, 5 LA matches, 2 T20 matches and a single FC match. Additionally, Sue Redfern was included in the ECB’s Professional Umpires’ Team in 2022, making her the first-ever female umpire to officiate men’s first-class cricket matches. Furthermore, in 2023, Sue Redfern established history by being the first female umpire to officiate a first-class match between Glamorgan and Derbyshire at Sophia Gardens. 

Shivani Mishra 

The Indian-born  ICC Asia coach, female cricket umpire and umpire educator, Shivani Mishra, has recently relocated to Qatar and is actively working with the Qatar Cricket Association (QCA). Shivani 0Mishra is an ACC-affiliated Level 3 Coach, Level 3 Umpire and ICC-affiliated Match Referee. In her tenure of officiating cricket matches, Shivani Mishra has bagged various records and achievements under her name. In 2019, Mishra established herself as the very first female on-field umpire to officiate a men’s T20I match. Additionally, Mishra is also recognized as the first Asian woman umpire to actively participate in the ICC Development Panel for umpires. Furthermore, the ICC named Shivani Mishra as a significant member of the ICC Development Panel of Umpires in 2019. The Qatar-based female umpire, Shivani Mishra, has also coached and imparted great on-field knowledge to Qatar’s Women’s Cricket team as a part of Qatar Cricket Association (QCA) training courses.

Kim Cotton 

Kim Cotton, a New Zealand cricket umpire, is considered to be the pioneer in the field of umpiring who managed to break through the stereotypes and establish her competence in the officiating world of cricket. Cotton’s fair decision-making skills and prompt action have garnered a lot of attention from the cricket community over the years. Kim Cotton has officiated a total of 75 cricket matches as of 2024, including a total of 54 WT20Is, 18 WODIs and three T20Is. Recently, in a Twenty20 International (T20I) match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 2023, Kim Cotton established a record for being the first female on-field umpire to be selected as a full-member men’s T20I.  

Lauren Agenbag 

The South African cricket umpire, Lauren Agenbag, is one of the youngest on-field umpires in the history of cricket. Lauren Agenbag made her umpiring breakthrough in the 2019 opening Women’s Twenty20 International(WT20I) match between South Africa and Sri Lanka, at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, establishing her as the first South African woman umpire to officiate a WT20I match, since then she has officiated a total of 84 cricket matches as an on-field umpire including a total of 60 WT20Is (2019–2023), 13 WODIs (2021–2023) and 11 T20Is (2022–2023).