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Cricket Tries to go Gender Neutral: MCC Amends Laws of Game

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced on Wednesday that the gender-neutral term "batter" will replace "batsman" in a bid to reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game.
Cricket gender neutral terms to be used

With increasing popularity for the women’s game, there have also been calls to adopt more gender neutral terms to encourage women and girls to play cricket (Pic: ToI, Twitter).

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced on wednesday amendments to the laws of the game, approved by the MCC Committee. The change, pertaining to just a term used in describing a player on the field, is cricket’s attempt to reinforce its status as a gender inclusive game. MCC announced that with immediate effect, the gender-neutral term "batter" will replace "batsman". 

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

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"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," it added.

Women's cricket has enjoyed growth around the world but not exactly at a pace which would allow it to catch up with the men’s game if not become on par. However, with increasing popularity, there have also been calls to adopt more gender neutral terms to encourage women and girls to play the game.

Many governing bodies and media organisations already use the term "batter".

"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 MCC said.

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"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 MCC added.

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

(With additions from PTI)

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