MCC says batsmen will now be called ‘batters’ in woke new ‘gender-neutral’ laws


Cricketers will be referred to as ‘batters’ instead of ‘batsmen’ to make the term gender neutral, the influential MCC announced today.

Marylebone Cricket Club said the move was a ‘natural progression’ and it changed the Laws of Cricket to make it ‘inclusive for all’.

The switch follows The Hundred competition in the summer, which also swapped the widely used Man of the Match to ‘Hero of the Match’.

It comes at a challenging time for the sport, which has been accused of going ‘woke’ in recent months as it tries to attract more people.

A number of England players faced a furious backlash when historic social media posts were dredged up and weaponised by activists.

Bosses axed the summer’s start bowler Ollie Robinson briefly over posts he made a decade ago – before he was reinstated for the Test against India.

Cricketers will be referred to as ‘batters’ instead of ‘batsmen’ to make the term gender neutral, the influential MCC announced today 

Marylebone Cricket Club said the move was a 'natural progression' and it changed the Laws of Cricket to make it 'inclusive for all'

Marylebone Cricket Club said the move was a ‘natural progression’ and it changed the Laws of Cricket to make it ‘inclusive for all’

The MCC announced the gender neutral changes this morning and said it was ‘delighted’ by the move.

A statement said: ‘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.

‘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’ which 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.

‘Women’s cricket has enjoyed unprecedented growth at all levels around the world in the same period.

‘England’s victory over India in the 2017 World Cup Final took place in front of a capacity crowd at Lord’s.

‘A record international crowd saw Australia defeat India in the T20 World Cup Final in Melbourne three years later and earlier this year Lord’s broke the record for a domestic women’s match as 17,116 watched Oval Invincibles defeat Southern Brave.’

The MCC announced the gender neutral changes this morning and said it was 'delighted' by the move. Pictured: England women's against New Zealand yesterday

The MCC announced the gender neutral changes this morning and said it was ‘delighted’ by the move. Pictured: England women’s against New Zealand yesterday

Jamie Cox, Assistant Secretary (Cricket and Operations) at MCC, 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 today.’

England Cricket said it was in discussions this morning over whether to adopt the changes.

A spokesman said: ‘We welcome the use of inclusive language in cricket and saw how the use of ‘batter’ was widely adopted during The Hundred.

‘We will now consider how best to reflect the MCC’s changes in our own regulations and are keen to see how a progressive move like this could benefit other cricketing terminology as well.’ 

The MCC is the custodian of the Laws of Cricket, which it has held since 1787, and they are generally adopted from village level to international.

This is despite the fact the International Cricket Council is the global body for the sport.

The MCC’s sub-committee is responsible for the debating, decision making and drafting of the Laws, which are then passed by the main committee.

Former Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara is the president of the main committee, with former Britvic chairman Gerald Corbett the current chair.

Former Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara (pictured) is the president of the main committee, with former Britvic chairman Gerald Corbett the current chair

Former Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara (pictured) is the president of the main committee, with former Britvic chairman Gerald Corbett the current chair

Earlier this year the MCC weighed in on a scrap over letting Oxford and Cambridge universities women’s team play their varsity at Lord’s.

Marylebone Cricket Club gave the go-ahead for match to be played on its famous main square for the first time in 194 years.

Female students were given the green light to play their own match by bosses of the ground.

Campaigners Stump out Sexism want those behind the hallowed ‘Home of Cricket’ to go one step further.

They called on Lord’s owners Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) to demand a women’s varsity match be played each year alongside the men’s.

It follows The Hundred this summer in using gender neutral terms rather than the traditional ones.

The new short form competition used the term ‘batters’ rather than batsmen and swapped the widely used Man of the Match to ‘Hero of the Match’.

Cricket underwent a vast revamp over the summer as it tried to appeal to more people – but was accused of going ‘woke’.

Campaigners called for the bosses of Lord's (pictured) to cancel the Oxbridge men's match if university chiefs do not organise a women's game to take place on the same pitch

Campaigners called for the bosses of Lord’s (pictured) to cancel the Oxbridge men’s match if university chiefs do not organise a women’s game to take place on the same pitch

England’s cricket stars were lectured on ‘workplace banter’ and ‘inappropriate non-verbal behaviour’ from diversity consultants, MailOnline revealed in June.

Players including James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Joe Root were forced to attend the diversity workshops from March.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association enforced the classes on all county and international players ‘as part of a zero-tolerance approach to racial discrimination’.

They were lectured on ‘issues such as workplace banter and inappropriate non-verbal behaviour’ during the sessions.

They are also likely to have been subject to an ‘experiential actor-based unconscious bias training’ lesson.

Five of the country’s top players were under the spotlight for allegedly racist, homophobic and sexist posts they shared online up to a decade ago.

Anderson, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan and an unnamed player were accused – while Robinson was booted from the Test squad for comments when he was a teenager.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk