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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Claire Polosak set to break the glass ceiling

Two parents in Sydney have been arrested and charged after allegedly deliberately leaving their children in hot cars.  A Sydney mother was charged after leaving her 15-month-old daughter in a car at Hurstville shopping centre and a two-year-boy was rescued after his dad left him in a vehicle at Yagoona while he went to the Hume Hotel for a drink. The girl at Hurstville was assessed by ambulance workers and was given the all-clear

Hurstville Oval is a multi-use sporting ground, located in the suburb of Hurstville, in Sydney's southern suburbs. Since its opening, it has held various sports at the venue – including Cricket, Rugby League, Cycling and Football. The oval also has a velodrome in the grounds, between the field and the stands. It was opened in 1911. On the official opening day, cricketer Warren Bradley brought the Australian Team to the ground to play the local St George team.  She is no model but one aspiring to become a role-model !!

When she received a phone call from her umpiring idol Simon Taufel to tell her she'd been appointed to a JLT game, Polosak did a "bit of a jig" before calling husband Evan to tell him the news.  Claire Polosak never played cricket and failed the umpires' exam "a few times" but is set to become the first woman to officiate an Australian men's top level fixture when New South Wales play a Cricket Australia XI in a one-day match on Sunday, 8th Oct 2017.

Polosak, a fixture in men's club matches in Sydney, will take the field with veteran umpire Paul Wilson at Hurstville Oval, where Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc is also expected to feature for the Blues.  Before you read to connect : Maninder Singh, Kumara Dharmasena, Srinivasan Venkatraghavan, Peter Willey, Paul Reiffel,  Richard Illingworth (don’t jump to say cricketers) …. Or - Madhav Gothoskar; Arani Jayaprakash; Swaroop Kishen; M. V. Nagendra; VK Ramaswamy; Judah Reuben; B Satyaji Rao; Mysore Vijayasarathi ….   here is more, International names this time : Ashoka De silva;  Dickie Bird; Billy Bowden; Steve Bucknor; Aleem Dar; Darrell Hair; Daryl Harper; Rudi Koertzen; David Shepherd; Simon Taufel ……………………..  not an exhaustive list of the Gentlemen in the middle with white coats with authority to decide – the finger going up, signalling or ordering the batsmen to trudge back towards the pavilion.  The first list in bracket is Umpires who have earlier played Cricket at National level …

Earlier ICC decided that it will 4 women umpires officiating in   Women's World T20 Qualifier in Bangkok - New Zealand's Kathy Cross, Australia's Claire Polosak, England's Sue Redfern and West Indies' Jacqueline Williamshave.   Cross, the most experienced of the four, had become the first woman to be named in an ICC umpires' panel in 2014, having been added to the Associate and Affiliate panel. She has the distinction in standing as Umpire in  the Women's World Cup.

Now comes the moment for Polosak as she  will be on pitch for the men's List A domestic match between New South Wales and the Cricket Australia XI in Sydney. It will be a huge moment for the 29-year-old, who has previously officiated the ICC Women's World T20 and has been third umpire for the domestic one-day cup. Polosak has always loved the game and currently holds a role with Cricket NSW that focuses on female engagement and umpire educating.

Ahead of her next career milestone on Sunday, she admits she has had to put in the extra effort as a female in a male-dominated profession. "The way the appointments work is based on merit so I have never asked for anything extra. Polosak says all players have shown her respect so far and she regularly engages in "friendly banter", and has not faced any situations she has not been able to deal with. She is hoping her latest appointment can inspire other young women to chase their dreams.

While Polosak remained tight-lipped on her ultimate goals, she said the idea of two female umpires occupying the pitch in a first class men's match could eventually be a reality.  Hope no player ever complains of distraction on field !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

5th Oct 2017

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