The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Wednesday announced that some of the terminologies in cricket have been changed and the organisation has made moves to adopting gender-neutral terms: “batsman” or “batsmen” has now been replaced by “batter” and “batters” in the MCC laws.
“These changes have been approved by the MCC Committee, following initial discussion by the Club’s specialist Laws sub-committee,” MCC stated in its press release.
“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 to the cricketing laws have been made on the website; the printed editions will be amended in the next editions. Before MCC, some media organizations and cricket bodies, including ESPNcricinfo, have already started using the term “batter” in their reporting.
MCC reckons this decision is “is a natural progression” of the cricketing world moving towards gender-neutrality.
“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,” the release added.
This move recognizes the changing landscape of the game in modern times: MCC Assistant Secretary
Women’s cricket has gained unprecedented growth in the past few years. The 2017 World Cup final between India and England shot the interest in women’s cricket in both nations while the 2020 T20 World Cup final between India and Australia at the MCG saw record-breaking attendance.
Jamie Cox, the Assistant Secretary of Cricket and Operations at MCC, said:
“MCC believes in cricket being a game for all, and this move recognizes 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 recognized formally and we are delighted, as the Guardians of the Laws, to announce these changes today.”
Lord’s, recently, broke the record for a domestic women’s match when 17,116 spectators turned up to watch Oval Invincibles defeat Southern Brave in the Hundred women’s final.
In 1999, the MCC had ended its 212 years of male exclusivity by having 10 female members in it. Now, they have taken another step by introducing gender-neutral terms.