Indian official GS Lakshmi has become the first female to be appointed to the the International Cricket Council's highest panel of match referees.

As a result Lakshmi, 51, is immediately eligible to referee all international matches.

The move follows Claire Polosak's achievement in becoming the first woman to umpire a men's one-day international, the final of the World Cricket League Division 2 match between Oman and Namibia earlier this month.

"To be selected in the international panel by the ICC is a huge honour for me as it opens up new avenues," said Lakshmi, who has adjudicated three women's ODIs and three T20Is.

"I have had a long career as a cricketer in India and also as a match referee. I hope to put my experience both as a player and as a match official to good use on the international circuit.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the ICC, officials at the BCCI, my seniors in the cricketing circuit, my family and colleagues who have supported me over the years. I hope to live up to their expectations by doing my job to the best of my ability."

In a further boost for the organisation's diversity, Polosak's fellow Australian Eloise Sheridan has became the eighth female to be named on the development panel of umpires.

Adrian Griffith, the ICC's senior manager of umpires and referees said: "We welcome Lakshmi and Eloise to our panels, which is an important step forward in our commitment to encouraging women officials.

"It is heartening to see their progress and I am sure many more women will be inspired to follow their example. We are committed to ensuring greater gender parity among our officials, but all appointments are made purely on merit."