A cricket law which dates back over 250 years has been amended to replace the term “batsman” with “batter” in a bid to make the sport more inclusive.
With immediate effect, the gender-neutral term will replace the current phrase. It has been part of the cricket rules book since 1744.
As female cricketers primarily refer to themselves simply as ‘batters,’ the switch will bring more harmony between men’s and ladies’ games.
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which oversees various rules and regulations for the sport, has made this change. It was previously considered, but ultimately rejected in 2017.
That was when the rules were last reviewed. There has been a shift in attitude over the past four years and the term “batter” will now be joined by the gender-neutral terms of “bowler” or “fielder”.
The pressure on the governing body has been increased by the growing popularity of the women’s game.
This year’s Hundred tournament saw both men’s and ladies tournaments running in tandem. It was a success and could have been motivating.
What is your favorite batter? Leave your comments below.
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An official statement read: “MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket’s status as an inclusive game for all.
“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 changes are effective immediately and updates have been made to the Laws of Cricket published (online), with the Laws of Cricket App and printed editions to be amended accordingly at their next updates.
“A number of Governing Bodies and media organisations are already using the term ‘batter’ in their Playing Conditions and reporting.
“We expect and encourage others to adopt the updated terminology following today’s announcement of the change to the Laws.
“The move to ‘batter’ is a natural progression, aligning with the terms of bowlers and fielders that already sit within the Laws.”
The change received a largely positive reception amongst the cricket community, with ex-England captain Michael Vaughan saying: “Let’s be honest if this has annoyed you get a life .. it’s absolutely fine & a good move .. #OnOn.”