Maxine Blythin plays for Kent Women’s Cricket. (Twitter/Maxine Blythin)
A rising star of women’s cricket has become the target of an anti-trans campaign group.
Maxine Blythin has wowed cricket fans in her first season for Kent Women’s Cricket, hitting four centuries and amassing a batting average of 124.
Her position on the team has led to anti-trans abuse from the group Fair Play for Women, who have misgendered her and questioned the validity of her place on the team.
Rules on trans cricket players could change.
Under England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) rules, trans women can play in domestic teams that match their gender identity without having to conform to any medical restrictions.
But ahead of the launch of a new £20 million semi-professional women’s league, the governing body has suggested that the rules could soon change.
Claire Connor, managing director of women’s cricket at ECB, suggested that players hoping to compete in the new eight-team league could be made to lower their testosterone levels.
“The ECB’s currently isn’t a medically driven policy. It’s a more socially inclusive policy and we will be reviewing that over the coming months,” she said.
Connor suggested that England could adopt a similar policy to that of Cricket Australia, which sets testosterone limits for trans women in line with International Cricket Council (ICC) guidelines.
“Cricket Australia has a specific policy for elite cricketers and a different policy for community cricketers. At the moment we don’t and I think we will be looking at that,” Connor said.
Trans athletes under attack.
Trans and gender-diverse athletes in a range of disciplines are currently facing widespread hostility.
Caster Semenya, a woman who has naturally high levels of testosterone, became the most high-profile victim of such discrimination earlier this year when she was banned from competing unless she underwent unnecessary hormone therapy.
The South African runner is currently battling the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) over its policy.
In May, former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies stoked controversy by suggesting that sport should be divided by chromosomes instead of gender.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Davies claimed there is “a real crisis in women’s sport”, due to trans inclusion.