Hampshire Cricket History

PC plod
February 21, 2017, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A couple of years back I did my first ball-by-ball for Southampton Hospitals on a women’s international match at the Ageas Bowl. TMS had a couple of former women internationals there as summarisers, so I was able to ask whether they thought we should change any terms such as ‘Third Man’ since Third Man (my favourite position incidentally) clearly wasn’t – if you see what I mean

They said no, just use the normal terms, which we did. No fuss. Today however the issue has been raised (BBC website): “An Australian cricket administrator wants terms like batsman, 12th man and third man to be dropped to encourage more women and girls to play the game. Western Australia Cricket Association chief executive Christina Matthews wants them replaced with gender-neutral names like batter, 12th and third”.

If the point about encouragement is accurate, that’s fine with me, and where it applies only to the women’s game, I think it’s women’s business to decide and tell us blokes. I’m comfortable too with a term like ‘batter’ or ‘twelfth’ which are often used already; we don’t, for example, say ‘bowlman’. What’s not clear from the report is whether she wants that change to be across the board, or only in women’s cricket, although she seems to acknowledge that any change is unlikely to speedy.

And what will happen to Wisden’s quarterly ‘The Nighwatchman’?


13 Comments so far
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Thinking more, is cricket the only sport to use gender-specific terms? There are no Goalmen in soccer for example …

Comment by pompeypop

If she genuinely thinks that the term batsman is causing girls not to play cricket then she shouldn’t hold any position of authority in the game.

Comment by James

I would accept “nightwatch”, but I wonder what Fred TrueMAN would have to say about such changes.

Comment by Hedgehog


Comment by Dave Allen

Why not “Nocturnal Protection Operative”

Comment by Ron Griffiths

Excellent Ron – could we keep this one going – it is as Hedgehog noted yesterday another slow news day …

Comment by pompeypop

“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.” (Christina Matthews).

Rachel Heyhoe Flint, RIP!

Comment by Jeremy

I remember when Chairmen were Chairmen, regardless of gender. Then some busybody (probably American) decided that the role was Chair. No! The chair is what the Chairman sits on. Now another busybody wants to change the names of playing roles of cricketers. I have heard female cricket pundits/commentators use the term “batsman” for females who bat, without any indication that the term is wrong. There are enough problems with modern cricket to be sorted out without having to concern ourselves with the trivia that this woman is raising.

Comment by John West

I wonder what evidence Christina has to support her contention that some women and girls have been alienated.

Comment by Ian White

That seems to me to be absolutely a key question. If there is such evidence, then … but if not …

Comment by pompeypop

I’d hate it if someone wanted me to be called a Practice Womanager!!

& pretty sure that in the women’s game we won’t hear about ‘Opening Bonnets’ or ‘Bachelor overs’

Comment by joster69

I’m sorry to disappoint you Dave – I know Third Man is your favourite position – but the BBC is reporting today “Cricket spot-fixing claims: Third man arrested in Sheffield”

Comment by Hedgehog

I saw that! I’m devastated. I’m starting a petition: “Free the Third Man One”

Comment by pompeypop

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