Adelaide Oval's iconic scoreboard adopts gender-neutral term "batting" over "batsmen"

Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval's iconic scoreboard.

The Adelaide Oval stadium in Australia has tweaked its iconic scoreboard to make it more gender-neutral. The list of batters will now come under the heading 'batting' instead of 'batsmen'. It aligns with the changes to the Laws of Cricket in 2021.

In 2021, the Laws of Cricket witnessed a few amendments as gender-neutral terms 'batter' and 'batters' were adopted in place of 'batsman' and 'batsmen'.

The scoreboard was erected in 1911 and is one of the few surviving features of the 150-year-old ground after multiple redevelopments. The tweak was made on Friday, November 25, ahead of the Women's Big Bash League match between Adelaide Strikers and Perth Scorchers at the venue.

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) also considered the change in 2017 but was rejected. In 2021, they felt it was a "natural progression" to replace 'batsman' and 'batsmen' because terms for bowlers and fielders were already gender-neutral.

“MCC believes in cricket being a game for all and this move recognises the changing landscape of the game in modern times,” Jamie Cox, the then MCC assistant secretary, said in 2021. “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”

Adelaide Strikers, the home side, bagged a five-wicket win over the Perth Scorchers on Friday in the ongoing edition of the WBBL.

"If you hate it, grow up" - Alex Hartley on the 'batter' change in 2021

Former England cricketer, now a broadcaster and coach, Alex Hartley, called the 2021 change and the acceptance of the term 'batter' a "small but big move".

“Some of the comments on this post make me angry. If you hate it, grow up. Cricket is a sport for everyone and this is a small but big move," she said on social media.

As for the WBBL, the Strikers made their way into the summit clash after topping the points table and will face either Brisbane Heat, Sydney Thunder, or Perth Scorchers in the final on December 2, Saturday, with an aim to defend their title.

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