Indian referee, Vijeylaxmi Narasimhan, is one of the 40 women from 29 countries selected by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its upcoming 100% Cricket Future Leaders Programme. The mentorship programme, which was launched in April 2021, is designed to support emerging female talent in cricket across fields like administration, coaching and officiating, broadcast, journalism and marketing.
Roberta Avery, the captain of the Brazilian national cricket team, and Nadia Gruny, the American batter who made her debut for the United States’ team at the T20 International in 2019, are also among the 40 women selected. Indian sports editor, Harini Rana, has also made it to the list, albeit in the second batch.
The list of mentors who will be training these selected women includes Greg Barclay, the chairman of the ICC, Sana Mir, the former captain of the team from Pakistan, and Ian Bishop, the former West Indies bowler and broadcaster. Dhiraj Malhotra, the BCCI general manager for game development, writer Sharda Ugra, and Indian entrepreneur Divya Gokulnath are also included in the list of mentors for the programme.
The official ICC statement announcing these lists revealed that the 40 women who will be mentored were selected among 300 applicants from 45 countries. “The initial intake will be split into two batches and the programme, which is designed to address the low percentage of women in leadership positions in global cricket and build a pipeline of new female leaders in cricket, will get underway with batch one beginning this month,” the statement said.
“The first two batches reflect the diversity of our regions and their areas of focus, and all have received outstanding endorsements from their respective Member Boards,” Claire Furlong, the ICC general manager for marketing and communications, said in another statement. “The next six months will be incredibly exciting, and we look forward to a productive learning experience for our mentees.”