Nadine Dorries may cut cricket in trans row as Stokes can’t play B-team but male-borns play women
Nadine Dorries threatens to cut funding for cricket and tennis over trans row after learning England fast bowler Ben Stokes is banned from playing against the B-team on safety grounds but male-born players can still bowl at women
- Culture Secretary says they should ban those who went ‘through male puberty’
- She urged them to follow example of International Swimming Federation
- Bowlers like Ben Stokes can’t play ‘B teams’ but males-born players play women
- Lawn Tennis Association and Cricket Board are reviewing their trans policies
Nadine Dorries has threatened to cut funding for sports such as cricket and tennis if they fail to take action to stop male-born transgender athletes from competing against women.
The Culture Secretary made the vow to colleagues after a bad-tempered meeting with the major sporting organisations on Tuesday, when she urged them to follow the example of the International Swimming Federation which has stated that transwomen who have ‘gone through male puberty’ can no longer enter female events.
Ms Dorries told colleagues that she was ‘shocked’ to be told that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was prepared to ban fast bowlers such as Ben Stokes from playing against ‘B teams’ on safety grounds, yet was happy to allow biological male bowlers to take aim at women – because they feared being sued.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries (pictured) says people who went ‘through male puberty’ should banned from women’s sport
Last week, ahead of her ‘trans summit’ with sports chiefs, the Cabinet Minister wrote in The Mail on Sunday that it ‘shouldn’t need to be said’, but ‘in the vast majority of sports, asking women and teenage girls to compete against someone who was biologically born a male is inherently unfair’.
She told officials afterwards that she believed that many sports organisations had become ‘captured by a minority world view’, adding: ‘That was shocking, they were all over the place. I want a paper within days letting me know what levers I have and how these organisations are funded.’
A Whitehall source said: ‘The organisations think that inclusion should trump fairness. They’ve been listening to their own echo chamber for too long and are terrified of litigation under the Equality Act, despite that legislation enshrining fairness.
‘Nadine found it incomprehensible that the ECB would not allow Ben Stokes to play in a 2nd XI in order to protect the safety of other players due to his bowling, running speed and sheer physicality – however, they would allow someone who had been born male and had been through puberty to play in a women’s team.’
Fast bowlers such as Ben Stokes (pictured) are banned from playing against ‘B teams’ on safety grounds, yet biological male bowlers can take aim at women
Another source said: ‘It’s pretty shocking that cricket and tennis don’t get it, given that the sports already contain adjustments to the rules, such as fewer sets in tennis for women.’
The ECB told The Mail on Sunday it is reviewing its transgender policy, which was last updated in 2020 and has been criticised for being unfair and unsafe. It currently uses a ‘social’ model rather than ‘medical’, where players ‘should be accepted in the gender in which they present’.
In 2019, Maxine Blythin, a 27-year-old who transitioned to female in her teens, was named Kent’s player of the year, opening up a debate on cricket’s qualification criteria.
Fiona McAnena (pictured), director of campaign group Fair Play for Women, said: ‘Cricket in the UK has explicitly got a policy that is, “If you say you are a woman, that’s all we need to hear”‘
Fiona McAnena, director of campaign group Fair Play for Women, said: ‘Cricket in the UK has explicitly got a policy that is, “If you say you are a woman, that’s all we need to hear”. It is pure self-ID.
‘We know of teenage girls who have had to withdraw from cricket matches because they were facing an adult male bowling at them. A group of parents told us they were very concerned about the risks. They wrote to the ECB but the ECB didn’t do anything about it.
‘The law is clear. The Equality Act says if your sport is gender affected, you may separate on the basis of sex. It is not on the basis of gender identity. That is to protect women and girls for fairness and, in the case of cricket, for safety.’
An ECB spokesman told The Mail on Sunday: ‘In light of the recent guidance from the UK Sports Council’s Equality Group, we are currently reviewing our transgender participation policy.
‘We will continue to consult with Sport England and other independent experts, and will communicate any changes once this work is complete later this year.’
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) currently has a relaxed policy which states: ‘You should accept people in the gender they present and verification of their identity should be no more than that expected of any other player.’
Yesterday, a spokesman said: ‘The LTA is undertaking a review of our own policies and that process is ongoing.’