Batsman may become ‘batter’ under terms being discussed by tournament organisers
Wickets could be referred to as “outs” in the Hundred under proposed terms being discussed by the ECB to make cricket more accessible to the new audience the tournament is hoping to attract.
The inaugural Hundred – postponed from last year – starts with a women’s match between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals at the Kia Oval on July 21 with the corresponding men’s fixture the following day at the same ground.
The new competition introduces a number of playing innovations, not least the 100-ball innings, and organisers have said discussions over the terminology to be used in the tournament was prompted by focus group data suggesting cricket’s traditional language can prove a “barrier” to potential fans.
“The Hundred is designed to make cricket accessible to everyone, and research shows that the language of the game can sometimes be a barrier,” a Hundred spokesperson said.
“Along with our broadcast partners, we want The Hundred to open cricket up to more people, as well as entertaining existing fans, so we’re discussing the clearest ways of explaining the game, but nothing’s been finalised.”
News of the possible switch from the term wickets to “outs” sparked widespread discussion and some criticism on social media.
It could be argued that if the Hundred is designed to attract new supporters and participants to cricket, then a move away from traditional terminology is effectively steering them away from a key aspect of the sport. On the other hand, getting people into cricket before fostering their enjoyment of other existing formats is seen as better than not attracting newcomers at all.
It is also argued the fact that the term wicket can be used to describe a dismissal, the stumps and bails and even the pitch can be confusing to people not familiar with cricket. “Outs” is regarded as descriptive without being too distant from current terminology because it says what happens when the batter is dismissed.
Another change being considered, and less likely to spark controversy, is using the word “batter” rather than batsman in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Anecdotally, many women playing and watching the game, have long supported the use of the gender neutral term batter.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo