LISA McCabe will create Bendigo District Cricket Association history on Saturday when she becomes the first female to officiate a senior game.
The 33-year-old will umpire the Strathdale versus Kangaroo Flat second XI game at All Seasons Oval.
“I grew up watching my older brother play cricket, but girls weren’t allowed to play,’’ McCabe said on Friday.
“I love cricket and I saw umpiring as an opportunity to get involved in the game.
“When I signed up I didn’t realise that I was the first female to umpire in Bendigo. Hopefully, some more women get involved because I’ve had a lot of fun so far.
“Women’s cricket is getting bigger and bigger in Australia and there’s no reason why more women can’t get into umpiring.”
McCabe, who is a chef in Bendigo, was the only woman in a class of about 60 new umpires to complete the Cricket Victoria umpiring course this winter.
She passed the final exam, earned her level one accreditation and joined the Bendigo umpires panel.
“It was a bit daunting when I went to the first umpires meeting and I’m sure there was a few looks from the men and they were thinking “what’s this Sheila doing here?,” McCabe said with a chuckle.
“The Bendigo umpires have been nothing short of amazing in the way they’ve welcomed me to the group. I feel very comfortable and I’ve found it very easy to get involved.”
Senior cricket matches can get heated and McCabe is prepared for sledging.
“I won’t be Hitler in the way I umpire,’’ McCabe said.
“I don’t mind a little bit of sledging. It’s part of the game.”