Scott Morrison slams Cricket Australia over 'mystifying' transgender move

Australian Associated Press

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attacked a Cricket Australia decision to allow transgender and gender-diverse people to play the sport at the highest level as "heavy-handed" and "mystifying".

The sport's national governing body has released an elite-level policy and guidelines for community cricket that allows players to compete in line with their gender identity, rather than the sex they were born with.

‘NOT A GREAT LOOK’: Aussies raise eyebrows with Ashes tour game failure

Transgender or gender-diverse players seeking to compete in the female-elite category must demonstrate a concentration of testosterone in serum less than 10 nanomoles per litre continuously for 12 months or more.

But Mr Morrison believes local sport should be driven by community clubs.

"I think it's pretty heavy-handed to put it pretty mildly," he told 2GB Radio on Friday.

Scott Morrison isn't a fan of Cricket Australia's new policy. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
Scott Morrison isn't a fan. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

"There are far more practical ways to handle these issues than these heavy mandatory ways of doing it, and I'm sure these issues have quite carefully and practically managed at a club level already.

"So why there's a necessity to get the sledgehammer out on this is mystifying me, but I think we need to get the issue in perspective and ensure we manage it calmly."

In announcing the policy on Thursday, Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts said transgender and gender diverse players will be supported to participate in top-flight cricket, subject to certain criteria.

Those looking to compete in the female-elite category must demonstrate a concentration of testosterone in serum less than 10 nanomoles per litre continuously for 12 months or more.

"Discrimination of any sort has no place in the game," Roberts said.

Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts, transgender cricketer Erica James and Dr David Hughes at the policy announcement. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts, transgender cricketer Erica James and Dr David Hughes. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Cricket Australia’s groundbreaking move

Mr Roberts said the Australian policy closely matched the International Cricket Council's Eligibility on the Basis of Gender Recognition.

Mr Roberts also said the guidelines for grassroots level cricket will help clubs, players, administrators, coaches and other volunteers to deliver a "safe, welcoming and inclusive environment, free of harassment and discrimination for gender diverse players."

"Our dedication to a fair and inclusive sport across international and domestic competitions sees the policy strike a balance between the opportunity to participate and ensuring fair competition,” he said.

Australian cricketer Megan Schutt welcomed the policy announcement and said inclusion mattered "in every sense."

"Now that we know that anyone who is transgender or gender diverse has a chance to play cricket at the highest level - and rightfully so - I'm confident that the elite cricket policy will provide a fair process for transgender and gender diverse cricketers to embark on that pathway," she said.