Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: Whether it is men's or women's cricket the term is batsman

Opinion: Whether it is men's or women's cricket the term is batsman

 Whether it is men's or women's cricket the term is batsman

Cricket is not a sport that gives up its traditions easily no matter how at odds they may be with broader society. The stubborn traditionalist streak that runs through the game makes it surprising that the term 'batter' has crept into the lexicon of the sport.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

*Before we continue, it must be made clear that what follows is an opinion offered to contribute to the debate surrounding some aspects of the game's terminology. The views expressed here do not reflect those of Hollywoodbets, their partners or staff.

With the disclaimer out of the way; batter is something that you use to make pancakes, a person batting in a cricket match is a batsman.

The very first recorded match of 'Women's cricket' was played in 1745 and the first women's club was formed in 1887 in English cricket's heartland of Yorkshire.

Women have played the sport internationally since 1934, but the first recorded objection to the term batsman only arises in 1985.

The minutes from a meeting of the International Women's Cricket Council reveal that a proposal was tabled to change references to batsmen with batter suggested as the alternative. The proposal was rejected.

'As the media is concerned with altering the cricketing terms for women's cricket to 'batters' etc., a determination by IWCC was requested. After discussion, it was agreed that the conventional cricketing terms be retained.'

The 'batter' banner has been carried by members of the media, but many women who play the game would prefer to be referred to by the traditional term 'batsman' over batter.

In Raf Nicholson's CricketHer blog post outlining her thoughts on the 'batsman vs batter' debate, she quotes former England Women international Megan Lear.

'You don't call third man third woman, do you? It's a fielding position, and it's called third man, and a person with a bat in her hand's a batsman,' Lear said when asked her thoughts by Pete Davies who chronicled the 1997 Women's World Cup.

The term batter is intended to be gender-neutral, but because it has not been adopted in the men's game, its use succeeds only in othering women's cricket.

The ICC may have adopted the term batter for use in some of its official documents and media, but it sits uncomfortably on the tongue.

To many who play the game, the term batsman is already gender-neutral having been used for the women's game all along.

It also doesn't help that the term batter is widely used in cricket's sporting cousin, baseball.

Using the term batter is not going to bring the world crashing down, but it just isn't cricket.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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