‘Batsmen’ Officially Renamed ‘Batters’ As Cricket Moves To Become More Gender Neutral
The likes of Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Joe Root will no longer be referred to as "batsmen", but rather "batters".
In a bid to be more inclusive with gender neutral terminology, the official language of cricket has now changed.
The new laws passed by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) mean words like "batsman" will be replaced with "batter".
The MCC, which oversees various rules and regulations within the sport, has confirmed that the changes will come into action immediately.
"MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game for all," a statement read.
MCC has today announced amendments to the Laws of Cricket to use the gender-neutral terms "batter" and "batters", rather than "batsman" or "batsmen".
- Marylebone Cricket Club (@MCCOfficial) September 22, 2021
"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.
"The changes are effective immediately and updates have been made to the Laws of Cricket published (online), with the Laws of Cricket App and printed editions to be amended accordingly at their next updates.
"A number of Governing Bodies and media organisations 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 move to 'batter' is a natural progression, aligning with the terms of bowlers and fielders that already sit within the Laws."
It's a historic change for the sport, following years of mounting pressure from fans to adapt it's age-old language.
Back in 2017, an amendment to cricket's tongue was considered following consultation with "key figures within women's cricket" but the MCC decided against making any changes.
Now, after "unprecedented growth" in the women's game, the governing body has backflipped.
Let's be honest if this has annoyed you get a life .. it's absolutely fine & a good move .. #OnOn https://t.co/ma6c1AWtuP
- Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 22, 2021
For those up in arms about the change to 'batters', I hope for your sake they don't get rid of 'bowlsman'.
- Henry Moeran (@henrymoeranBBC) September 22, 2021
Overall, the introduction of "batters" drew a positive reaction from the wider cricket community - although some people took exception to it, of course.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan told anyone complaining to "get a life", while former Australia cricketer Lisa Sthalekar said it was "about time" the gender-neutral changes happened.
Meanwhile, BBC reporter Henry Moeran decided to take a slightly different angle in dealing with people who were "up in arms" about the new terms.
"I hope for your sake they don't get rid of 'bowlsman'. Oh," he joked via Twitter.
Moeran is right though, this isn't the first time that updated laws have come into play.
Back in 2000, the MCC replaced the position "fieldsman" with "fielder" and that transition happened relatively seamlessly.
Featured Image Credit: PA