When Danielle McGahey of Canada plays for her adopted nation in the 2024 Women's T20 World Cup qualifier in Bangladesh, she will make history as the first transgender cricket player to compete in an international competition.
After meeting the ICC's eligibility requirements for male-to-female transgender athletes, the 29-year-old opening batter McGahey was chosen for Canada's women's side for the qualifying competition taking place next month.
Los Angeles will host the qualifying competition from September 4 to September 11. For a spot in the global qualifiers, Canada will compete against Argentina, Brazil, and the United States in the ICC Americas Qualifier.
"I am absolutely honoured. To be able to represent my community is something I never dreamed I would be able to do," McGahey was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
In November 2020, McGahey started her social transition from a guy to a woman after relocating to Canada from Australia in February 2020. In May 2021, she began her medical transformation. As part of its equal rights policy, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has taken a significant step forward with McGahey's involvement in international cricket.
According to ICC's player eligibility regulations released in 2018 (and amended in 2021), trans women wishing to play women's international cricket must demonstrate "the concentration of testosterone in her serum has been less than 5 nmol/L1 continuously for a period of at least 12 months, and that she is ready, willing and able to continue to keep it below that level for so long as she continues to compete".
It further states that a trans cricketer must "provide a written and signed declaration, in a form of satisfactory to the designated medical officer, that her gender identity is female".
On allowing McGahey to be the first transgender to play international cricket, the ICC said in a statement: "We can confirm that Danielle went through the process as required under the ICC's player eligibility regulations and as a result, has been deemed eligible to participate in international women's cricket on the basis that she satisfies the MTF transgender eligibility criteria."
McGahey said she is doing everything possible in her capacity to realise her dream of playing international cricket.
"The need to do blood tests every month is probably the biggest challenge because when you are playing cricket you are travelling a lot," McGahey said.
During the nation's women's inter-provincial tournament, which allows a transgender player to participate based simply on gender self-identification, McGahey caught the eye of Cricket Canada selectors with her batting prowess. Later, in October 2022, McGahey competed for Canada in four T20 matches in the South American Championships. But no international recognition was given to such games.
"Obviously I felt a huge sense of pride. Not only for what I'm doing but for my (trans) community. Being able to represent them," McGahey said.
According to Cricket Canada, McGahey was chosen for the team since she complied with all ICC rules.