India, May 15 -- GS Lakshmi, who on Tuesday became the first woman to be included in ICC's international panel of match referees, feels her elevation is a step forward for women's cricket. It comes on the heels of Australia's Claire Polosak, who became the first woman to stand in a men's ODI this month.

Lakshmi, who was part of the India squad which toured England in 1999 but didn't get to play, was among the five who were shortlisted from the more than 100 women who took the match officials' test held under the supervision of former ICC Elite Panel umpire Simon Taufel in 2014.

"I have been a referee in women's domestic cricket since 2008 (when BCCI began posting women) and was sort of expecting this promotion. However, I didn't know it...