Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne has said he fully supports the use of gender-neutral terms in cricket.

The Laws of Cricket, last month, officially amended their rules to include gender-neutral language such as “batter” and “batters” rather than “batsman” and “batsmen”.

Marylebone Cricket Club agreed on the changes following thorough discussion among the Laws’ sub-committee.

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The decision to change the wording to have more gender-neutral language was previously considered in 2017, but was ultimately rejected.

‘Move To Batter Is A Natural Progression’

“MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket’s status as an inclusive game for all. 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 MCC said in a statement.

“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.”

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The change to gender neutral language by the MCC received an overwhelmingly positive response.

The International Cricket Committee has also confirmed “batter” would replace “batsman” in all playing conditions going forward, including with the upcoming Men‘s T20 World Cup.

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

All For It, Says Warne

“This is a natural and perhaps overdue evolution of our sport and now our batters are gender-neutral in the same way as bowlers, fielders and wicket keepers. It’s a small change, but one that I hope will have a significant impact on cricket being viewed as a more inclusive sport,” added Allardice.

When asked about these changes in an interview with The Daily TelegraphWarne said he was “all for it”.

“I think that simple change from batsman to batter was fair enough,” the 52-year-old cricket legend said. “I think it is good. It is a huge business, it is a popular sport, and it is important that it gets with the times,”

With the rise of women’s cricket in the world, Warne said it is important to make the game inclusive for women who want to play.

“Cricket is a fantastic career path for women now and what Cricket Australia and all the boards are doing and the money they are investing into women’s cricket is fantastic,” Warne said.

“My daughters love to play it too, not as professionals, but we muck around in the backyard, not as much now, when they were a bit younger,” the former cricketer said. 

 

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