Aussie women crick­eters want to re­move word ‘man’ from the game

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - By Seth Fran­cis

TERMS such as third man, bats­man and 12th man should not be used in cricket any­more, ac­cord­ing to an Aus­tralian cricket ad­min­is­tra­tor.

Western Aus­tralia Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Christina Matthews wants the terms re­placed with more gen­der-neu­tral names such as bat­ter and just sim­ply ‘third’ or ‘twelfth’.

Matthews, also a mem­ber of Western Aus­tralia’s CEOs for Gen­der Eq­uity and a former state and na­tional crick­eter her­self, said: “Here we are, in 2017, us­ing terms such as 12th man, bats­man, field­s­man and nightwatchman.

“In my view, there’s no com­mon­sense rea­son why [the terms can’t be changed]. I think it’s just some­thing peo­ple have held on to.

“Words mat­ter, and words demon­strate re­spect as well. By not chang­ing the terms, you’re dis­re­spect­ing half the pop­u­la­tion.

“I’m not say­ing peo­ple are de­lib­er­ately try­ing to of­fend but it’s a bit like bul­ly­ing – whether you’re bul­lied or not is dic­tated by the per­son who is on the end of it, not the per­son who’s do­ing it.”

Matthews doesn’t think that peo­ple will be con­fused with new terms such as bat­ter, stat­ing “our whole lives have been Amer­i­can­ised”.

And it would seem that Matthews isn’t alone in her view with Perth Scorchers fast bowler Piepa Cleary agree­ing.

Cleary said: “Ev­ery­one still says fe­male ath­letes or fe­male cricket, but we’re ath­letes play­ing cricket.

“We need to stop be­ing com­pared to the men’s game and be recog­nised for play­ing the same sport in our own field.

“It’s go­ing to take a long time to change, but hope­fully it will start to hap­pen sooner rather than later.”

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