Sept 22 (Reuters) - The term 'batsman' has been amended to the gender-neutral term 'batter' in the Laws of Cricket to stress the importance of the women's game, the Marylebone Cricket Club said on Wednesday.
England beat India in the 2017 women's World Cup final in front of a capacity crowd at Lord's while the women's World Twenty20 final between Australia and India last year attracted more than 80,000 to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in increasing signs of popularity of the women's game.
The International Cricket Council, the world governing body of the sport, requires all 12 of its full members to have a national women's team.
The Lord's-based MCC, the sole authority on the laws of cricket since it was founded in 1787, said the changes are effective immediately.
"MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game for all," the club said in a statement.
"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.
"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."
Women's cricket will feature at the Commonwealth Games for the first time at the 2022 Games in Birmingham, England.
The MCC, the most esteemed club in the sport, welcomed its first female full member in 2018, 20 years after a vote to allow women to join.
Former England captain Clare Connor, the England and Wales Cricket Board's managing director of women's cricket, will become the first female president in the club's history next month when she takes over from Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara.