London: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Wednesday announced that the gender-neutral term “batter” will replace “batsman” with immediate effect, in a bid to reinforce cricket’s status as an inclusive game. The amendments to the laws were approved by the MCC Committee, following initial discussion by the Club’s specialist Laws Sub-committee.
“MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket’s status as an inclusive game for all,” MCC, the custodians of the game, said in a statement.
“The amendments are a natural evolution from work already undertaken in this area as well as an essential part of MCC’s global responsibility to the sport,” the statement added.
Women’s cricket has enjoyed unprecedented growth at all levels around the world and there had been calls to adopt more gender-neutral terms to encourage women and girls to play the game. A number of governing bodies and media organisations already use the term batter.
“At the time of the last redraft in 2017 it was agreed, following consultation with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and key figures within women’s cricket, that the terminology would remain as ‘batsman’ and ‘batsmen’ within the Laws of the game,” the MCC said.
“The changes announced today reflect the wider usage of the terms ‘batter’ and ‘batters’ which has occurred in cricketing circles in the intervening period. “The move to ‘batter’ is a natural progression, aligning with the terms of bowlers and fielders that already sit within the Laws.”
Jamie Cox, Assistant Secretary (Cricket and Operations) at MCC said: MCC believes in cricket being a game for all and this move recognises the changing landscape of the game in modern times.
“It is the right time for this adjustment to be recognised formally and we are delighted, as the Guardians of the Laws, to announce these changes today.