'Batsman' replaced with gender-neutral 'batter' in landmark update to Laws of Cricket

The body recognised as the sole authority on cricket's laws has made a major shift that will see gender-neutral terms such as “batter” and “batters” used rather than “batsman” and “batsmen”.

Australia’s One Day International women cricketers celebrate during a match against India at Mackay, Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Australia’s One Day International women cricketers celebrate during a match against India at Mackay, Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Source: AAP

The Marylebone Cricket Club has replaced the word 'batsman' with the gender-neutral alternative 'batter' in landmark changes to the Laws of Cricket.

The MCC, which owns Lord's, is recognised as the sole authority on cricket's laws and has taken the decision to update its terminology in a bid to achieve greater inclusivity.

The matter was previously addressed in 2017, but it was decided not to make a change at that point.

Jamie Cox, assistant secretary of 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.

"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 decision was largely welcomed on social media, but there were a predictable number of dissenting voices commenting on the MCC's Twitter thread.

Alex Hartley, the 2017 Women's World Cup winner and former Hobart Hurricanes spinner, took on critics of the move.

She 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."

Responding to replies, Hartley also suggested use of the words 'nightwatcher' instead of 'nightwatchman' and 'third' in place of 'third man'.


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Published 23 September 2021 at 5:39am, updated 23 September 2021 at 5:55am
Source: AAP - SBS

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