The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced on Wednesday that the gender-neutral terms 'batter' and 'batters' will replace 'batsman' and 'batsmen' after amending the Laws of Cricket. The changes have been approved by the MCC Committee after 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. 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. 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," read the statement from MCC.
Women's cricket has enjoyed unprecedented growth at all levels around the world in the same period. England's victory over India in the 2017 World Cup Final took place in front of a capacity crowd at Lord's. A record international crowd saw Australia defeat India in the T20 World Cup Final in Melbourne three years later and earlier this year, Lord's broke the record for a domestic women's match as 17,116 watched Oval Invincibles defeat Southern Brave.
"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 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."
"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 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," said Jamie Cox, Assistant Secretary (Cricket and Operations) at MCC.