Cricket batsmen now called 'batters' in gender-neutral change to sport's laws

23 September 2021, 06:43

Batsmen will now be referred to as "batters" in cricket's laws
Batsmen will now be referred to as "batters" in cricket's laws. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Cricket batsmen will now be referred to with the gender-neutral term "batter" in the game's rulebook.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord's and is considered the sole authority of the sport's laws, has updated its phrasing in a bid for greater inclusivity.

In a response to MCC's tweet announcing the change, some Twitter users criticised the move, claiming the "world's gone mad" or describing the change of phrase as "first world problem making".

Others welcomed the move, citing its benefit to female players of the game, while others derided the critics as "dull gammons".

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

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"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."

The idea of making a change had been addressed in 2017 but a decision was made not to change the phrasing at that point.

Moves towards improving equality in the sport include The Hundred, a new competition launched in the summer, where newly-established men's teams played after their female counterparts, opening up the latter to a wider audience.

Alex Hartley, the 2017 Women's World Cup winner and Lancashire captain, said in reply to MCC's tweet: "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."