The MCC has updated the latest edition of the Laws of Cricket to include the term "batter" ©Getty Images

The new edition of the Laws of Cricket is to officially include the term "batter."

The decision to use the word has been taken by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in order to stress gender equality.

"MCC believes that the use of gender-neutral terminology helps reinforce cricket's status as an inclusive game for all," a club statement said.

"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.

"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."

The first known laws of cricket had been established by certain "noblemen and gentlemen" at the Artillery Club in 1744, but MCC has been responsible for drawing them up since its foundation.

The first MCC Code was accepted on May 30 1788.

An introduction to the document describes MCC as "the sole authority for drawing up the code."

The word
The word "batter" has been added to the Laws of Cricket as part of efforts to promote gender equality ©Getty Images

They are compiled in consultation with the International Cricket Council and after a global process which involves players, umpires and administrators at all levels of the game.

MCC claim "the basic Laws of Cricket have stood remarkably well the test of time. 

"It is thought the real reason for this is that cricketers have traditionally been prepared to play in the Spirit of the Game."

Since the Second World War, the code has been subject to major revisions on five occasions, the most recent, made in 2017, still used the term "batsman" but also included the clause "except where specifically stated otherwise, every provision of the laws is to be read as applying to all persons, regardless of gender."

Far from being a modern term, batter was used in the 19th century in newspaper reports.

Next month, former England captain Clare Connor is set to to take her place as the MCC’s first female President.

She succeeds Sri Lankan test batsman Kumar Sangakkara in a role previously filled by some of the most distinguished names in the game.

MCC had not permitted women to play a match at its headquarters at Lord’s until 1976 and it was not until 1998 that members of the club voted to allow women to join.