Cricket drops ‘batsman’ to reflect growth of women’s game

The language of cricket is changing in an attempt to make the sport more inclusive.

The gender-neutral term “batter” will be used instead of “batsman,” cricket’s lawmaker said on Wednesday, to reflect the growth of the women’s game.

“MCC believes in cricket being a game for all and this move recognizes the changing landscape of the game in modern times,” said Jamie Cox of Marylebone Cricket Club, the Lord’s-based organization regarded as the guardian of the laws of the game.

The last redraft of the laws, in 2017, kept the terminology “batsman” and “batsmen” after consultation with key figures in women’s cricket. The MCC said an amendment, effective immediately, was now needed as it “helps reinforce cricket’s status as an inclusive game for all.”

“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 club said. “The move to ‘batter’ is a natural progression, aligning with the terms of bowlers and fielders that already sit within the laws.”

The MCC pointed to the women’s World Cup final between England and India in 2017 taking place in front of a capacity crowd at Lord’s and a record international crowd for a women’s game — 86,174 — seeing Australia beat India in the T20 World Cup Final in Melbourne in 2020.

The MCC didn’t make reference to other terms and positions in cricket that have the word “man” in it, such as “night watchman” and “third man.”