women's cricket Australia
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I was presenting my client’s case to a tribunal, addressing the person presiding as “chair”, and wondering as I sometimes do whether I’d like to be referred to as a piece of furniture. Then I remembered that I am and have been the chair of various entities and it hasn’t made me feel any more inanimate than my personality dictates.

The cricket world is still digesting the news that the traditional term for the person who holds a stick and hits the ball, the “batsman”, is being retired in favour of the gender-neutral “batter”. With the wild popularity of women’s cricket, nobody was keen on “batswoman” because it sounds stupid which, if true, means batsman sounds stupid too. “Batsperson” hasn’t been considered by anyone, sadly.

Anyway, any objections from the old school are crippled by the fact that the person chucking the ball has always been called a “bowler”, not a bowlsman.  Bowler, batter, fielder, wicketkeeper, umpire; by historical accident, cricket had always been almost perfectly equality-ready. Third man still needs to be dealt with.