Australia’s Claire Polosak, on Thursday, created history by becoming the first woman to officiate a men’s Test during India vs Australia match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Polosak was appointed as the fourth umpire in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, while Australians Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson are serving as the on-field umpires. With international umpires not being able to travel overseas to officiate, Cricket Australia and ICC had to include the 32-year-old Polosak in the team of the match officials.Also Read - Expect My Pacers Not to Come up With Excuses During Ashes: Australia Bowling Coach Andrew McDonald
Bruce Oxenford and David Boon have been respectively named as the third umpire and match referee for Sydney Test. Polosak, a native of New South Wales, has already earned the distinction of being the first woman on-field umpire in a men’s ODI match in ICC’s Division 2 league between Namibia and Oman played at the Windhoek in 2019. Also Read - Cricket Australia Forced Pat Cummins Into 'Confession' Before Handing Him Captaincy Reins: Reports
As per ICC rules for Test matches, the fourth umpire is appointed by the home cricket board from their nominees to the International Panel of ICC Umpires and from the host country. Also Read - Shane Warne Not Amused With Steve Smith's Return to Leadership Role
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo in the lead up to that ODI she said: “I am thrilled to be the first woman to stand in a men’s ODI and how far I have come as an umpire.”
“It really is important to promote women umpires and there’s no reason why females can’t umpire in cricket. It’s about breaking down barriers, creating awareness so more females can come into the role,” Polosak said.
Polosak has also umpired the women’s T20I World Cup final back in March 2020 along with the recent WBBL final in November. She also featured prominently as a domestic and international umpire in women’s cricket.
The duties of a fourth umpire include bringing on the new ball, carrying drinks on to the field for the umpires, checking the batteries in the light meter, observing the pitch during the lunch and tea intervals to make sure there is no interference, and bringing on new bails.
The fourth umpire can also take over the third umpire’s position if something happens to one of the on-field umpires, in which case the third umpire takes over on-field duties.