The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday decided to change the word ‘batsman’ to ‘gender-neutral word’ batter ‘in all sports starting with this month’s T20 World Cup, which he describes as a “natural and late evolution”.
Last month, the Marylebone Cricket Club announced that it was changing the word ‘batsman’ to ‘batter’ in cricket law. That change will now be reflected in all ICC playing conditions going forward.
The ICC has been moving away from the word ‘batsman’ for the past four years, and ‘Batter’ has been consistently implemented in commentary and in the organization’s channels.
Geoff Allardyce, executive director of the organization, said the MCC’s decision to go ‘bat’ in the rules of the game was ‘welcome’.
“The ICC has been using the word thunder in our channels and commentary for some time and we welcome the decision to implement it in the MCC cricket laws,” he said in a statement.
“This is a natural and perhaps late evolution of our game. Now our batsmen are gender-neutral like bowlers, fielders and wicket-keepers.”
He said it was a small change but would have a significant impact on cricket being seen as a more inclusive sport.
“Of course language changes will not only enhance the game, we need to make sure that the girls and boys who are encouraged to play cricket have a wonderful, fun first experience and both can progress as cricketers without hindrance.”
For ICC Hall of Famer and former Australia star Lisa Stalker, the move to ‘Batter’ is a simple but important one.
Unaware of the game that girls played at a young age, Stolger became the best game from Australia before commenting.
Growing up using the word ‘bat’ as an athlete, she stuck to the word when she went behind the microphone and remembered being told ‘one was for thunder fish’ by one of her co-commentators on one of her early shows.
We are not saying “Look at a fieldman”, we are saying “Look at the fielder”. We are not saying ‘bowlers’, we are saying ‘bowlers’, “he said following the MCC decision.
“So if there is a similar word to describe someone holding a piece of wood in his hand, why shouldn’t we follow it?”
It is noteworthy that until the turn of the century by the ICC, the term ‘Fieldsman’ was adopted before the MCC retreated in 2000.
Stalker is well aware that both the ICC and the MCC are permanently moving to ‘Batter’.
“It’s like a habit, it always takes to get rid of it.”
But the more ‘thunder’ is used, the more it becomes routine and the better the cricket will interact with the next generation, he said.
Allardyce described the move as a “change of public knowledge”.
Why not take a small step to ensure that we are a sport that does not exclude 50 percent of the world’s population with outdated language choices.
“While some people have made a lot of noise against this general knowledge change, most people within the game have welcomed the move.”