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23 Oct 2021 3:16
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Cricket

    Cricket changing batsmen to batters in official language across the sport, MCC says

    The "unprecedented growth" of women's cricket in the past few years prompts the Marylebone Cricket Club to move away from the use of batsman and batsmen in official language, to the gender-neutral batter and batters.


    The famously change-shy governing body of cricket around the world is moving to make the game's language more inclusive, replacing batsman and batsmen with batter and batters in official documents.

    The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which oversees writing and maintaining the laws of the sport, said the change would be made effective immediately.

    "MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game for all," a statement read.

    "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 change was suggested by the MCC Committee, which includes a number of former international players and the president of which is Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara.

    The MCC said in 2017 it consulted with "key figures within women's cricket" and decided to keep the batsman/batsmen language, but "unprecedented growth" in the women's game since then made it clear things had to change.

    Former Australia star Lisa Sthalekar said on Twitter it was "about time" but, perhaps unsurprisingly, the change was met with some backlash from traditionalists.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan told those people to "get a life".

    UK sports reporter Elizabeth Ammon pointed out why "language matters".

    BBC commentator Henry Moeran described the move as "small, but big", and pointed out the ways in which cricket language was already gender-neutral.

    MCC cricket and operations assistant secretary Jamie Cox said the sport had to get in line with "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," he said.

    "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."

    The MCC told the BBC fielding positions like "third man" were not official language, so it would not make a call on that.

    [sports newsletter]

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