MCC, the custodians of the Laws of Cricket and owners of Lord’s cricket ground, has confirmed that the term “batsman” has been officially replaced by the gender-neutral “batter”.
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.
“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.”
Women’s cricket in England has enjoyed unprecedented growth since a sell-out crowd at Lord’s witnessed England sweep to victory against India in 2017 and, earlier this year, more than 17,000 people watched Oval Invincibles beat Southern Brave at The Oval, south London, a record for a women’s domestic cricket match.
While the change has been broadly welcomed, approval has not been universal. Aside from the depressingly predictable misogynistic trolling on social media, The Telegraph’s Simon Heffer referred to the decision as “ultra-woke grandstanding” and “sinister”, alleging that MCC had “prostituted itself”, rather than agreeing with most sane people that the benign change in terminology is simply a reflection of both the increased popularity of the women’s game and the fact that we live in more inclusive times.
Alex Hartley, captain of Lancashire CC and a member of England’s World Cup winning team wrote, “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.”
MCC has already updated the Laws on its website and has confirmed that both the written version of the Laws and the Laws of Cricket app will be amended at their next scheduled update.