Credits: Getty Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday chose to supplant ‘batsman’ with gender unbiased term ‘Batter’. Beginning with the current month’s men’s T20 World Cup. Depicting the move as a “characteristic and late advancement” in the game.

Last month, the Marylebone Cricket Club declared it would supplant the word ‘batsman’ with ‘hitter’ in the Laws of Cricket. The change will presently be reflected across all ICC playing conditions going ahead.

The ICC said in the course of recent years it has been creating some distance from the word ‘batsman’, with ‘hitter’ executed routinely in discourse and across the association’s channels.

The Ceo’s Word

Geoff Allardice (ICC Photo)

The body’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice said the MCC’s decision to move to ‘batter’ in the laws of the game was one they ‘welcomed’.

“The ICC has been utilising the term batter for some time now across our channels and in commentary. We welcome the MCC’s decision to implement it into the Laws of cricket. It will follow suit with our playing conditions that are derived from the Laws,” Allardice said in a statement. 

“This is a natural and perhaps overdue evolution of our sport. Now our batters are gender-neutral in the same way as bowlers, fielders and wicket keepers.” 

He said it’s a small change but one that will have significant impact on cricket being viewed as a more inclusive sport. 

“Of course language changes alone will not grow the sport. We must ensure that girls and boys who are inspired to play cricket have a fantastic, fun first experience and are both able to progress as cricketers without barriers.” 

Lisa Sthalekar Praises The Decision

Credits: Twitter

For ICC Hall of Famer and former Australia star Lisa Sthalekar, the move to ‘batter’ is a simple but important one.

Having grown up using the term ‘batter’ as a player. She stuck to the word when she stepped behind the microphone and remembers being told by a co-commentator in one of her earliest gigs that batter was for fish. 

“We don’t say ‘hey look at that fieldsman’, we say ‘look at the fielder’. We don’t say ‘bowlsman’, we say ‘bowler’,” she said following the MCC decision. 

The ICC said it’s worth noting that up until this century. The phrase ‘fieldsman’ was an accepted term before the MCC stepped in back in 2000. 

Sthalekar is well aware even with the ICC and MCC both moving permanently to ‘batter’ that ‘batsman’ will still be heard on occasion in the media.

“It’s like a habit, it takes forever to get rid of it.” 

But the more ‘batter’ is used, the more it will become the normal. With that cricket will better engage with the next generation, she said.


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