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No more 'batsman'; in the crease is 'batter'

No more batsman;  in the crease is batter

The Lords Cricket Stadium,  owned by Marlybone Cricket Club (photo credit: Skysports)

A dilemma that has for sometime been vexing commentators and sports writers is set to come to an end. Marylebone Cricket Club, (MCC) has announced to end it all by deciding that the gender-neutral term 'batter' will replace 'batsman' with a change in the Laws of Cricket.

In an effort to "reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game for all" and address the issues raised by gender-specific 'batsman', MCC, the Guardians of the Laws of cricket, and owner of Lords Cricket Ground, seen as the Mecca of cricket, took this decision which will take effect immediately.

Although this was considered earlier in 2017, there was no official decision made at that time.

Jamie Cox, Assistant Secretary (Cricket and Operations) at MCC, was quoted by Skysports as saying "MCC believes in cricket being a game for all and this move recognises the changing landscape of the game in modern times.

"Use of the term "batter" is a natural evolution in our shared cricketing language", said he "and the terminology has already been adopted by many of those involved in the sport. 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."

Although women's cricket has not been as popular – or contests as frequent – as in the domain of men, the demand for gender neutrality became more pronounced with England winning the World Cup in 2017.

Around the globe in cricket-playing countries, the women's game has grown since the 2017 redraft, which came into effect shortly after England won the World Cup on home soil.

But it was in 2020, that women's cricket drew a record crowd when in the final T20 World final at Melbourne, Australia beat India. But earlier this year, that record was broken with 17,116 watching Oval Invincibles defeat Southern Brave in the final of the inaugural edition of The Hundred.

The move has not been without its share of critics, but Alex Hartley, the 2017 Women's World Cup winner and Lancashire captain, responded to them on Twitter saying "Some of the comments on this post make me angry. If you hate it, grow up. Cricket is a sport for everyone and this is a small but big move."

Responding to replies, Hartley also suggested use of the words 'nightwatcher' instead of 'night watchman' and 'third' or 'short third' in place of 'third man'.

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TAGS:Women's cricketCricket terms'batter'for 'batsman'Marylebone Cricket Club
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