The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on Wednesday has announced that they have amended the Laws of Cricket to use the gender-neutral terms ‘batter' and ‘batters' instead of ‘batsman' and ‘batsmen'.
In its statement, the MCC said: "A number of governing bodies and media organizations are already using the term ‘batter' in their playing conditions and reporting. We expect and encourage others to adopt the updated terminology following today's announcement of the change to the laws. 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."
"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'. It 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." MCC added
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The popularity of women's cricket has played a big role in this change. We've seen over the last few years that crowds are turning up in big numbers to women's games. Be it England's victory over India in the 2017 World Cup Final or during the T20 World Cup Final in Melbourne when Australia defeat India. Recently, the women's Hundred final between Oval Invincibles and Southern Brave witnessed record audiences, with the final crowd of 17,116 at Lord's.
Jamie Cox, the MCC's assistant secretary for cricket and operations, said: "MCC believes in cricket being a game for all. And this move recognizes the changing landscape of the game in modern times. The use of the term ‘batter' is a natural evolution in our shared cricketing language."
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