GMB: David Gower on possibility of mixed-gender cricket
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David Gower joined Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain to discuss the decision for the term “batter” to be used in cricket instead of “batsman” to make the sport more inclusive. When asked if there is potential for men and women to play together, David insisted it “wouldn’t work”.
“Can you ever see a situation David where men and women play together in the same team for cricket?” Kate asked.
“Is it the sort of sport where you can have that?”
“Well, Gail’s point stands out here,” David replied. “I’m sure even Isabelle would admit if you put the women’s team in amongst the England men’s team and said, ‘Right let’s have an Ashes contest men and women,’ I think, I don’t know how to say this gently, bit that wouldn’t work.
“I think women would find, for instance, the extra speed of a Mitchell Starc up against them something they’d never experienced before.”
“We have seen some brilliant instances in the Olympics though when we had the mixed teams in the triathlon,” Ben cut in.
“I remember watching the mixed doubles in the tennis. There are sports where it does lend itself to being able to have both together.”
“Yeah, this isn’t one of them,” David hit back.
David’s comments came after badminton player Gail Emms said she did not believe gender equality was possible in sports.
She stated: “Gender equality in sport doesn’t exist, boys are generally stronger and faster.
“So girls have to have their own sort of style, their own team. Yes, gender neutral language in business because you’re effectively doing the same job, it doesn’t matter necessarily whether you’re a boy or a girl.
“But in sport it does matter. Girls, I am really proud that women’s sport has come such a long way and we should be supporting sportswomen and using the term women and also protecting girls sport as well.
“Be proud if you’re a girl playing cricket and being called a batsman.
Women’s cricket has done amazing this summer. It has showcased just how absolutely wonderful the game is.
“The Hundred has been a huge success.”
On the other hand however, Isabelle Webster, a former cricketer, insisted gender neutrality was a step forward for the sport.
“Just because I haven’t felt excluded in my experiences and it hasn’t impacted me doesn’t mean it hasn’t impacted other people,” she explained.
“I think if language doesn’t matter to you, it’s probably because you’re in a privileged position and have never experienced being excluded from sport, from a club or society even.”
Many viewers were in agreement with David as Darren posted on Twitter: “Nonsense, we need to wake up and stop worrying about pointless sh*t like this while countries who used to be competing with us leave us behind.”
Matt Senior continued: “Being offended on the behalf of others can just stop.
“If women cricketers decide they have a problem with commentary language then i hope they would say something and be listened to. Not interested until that point.”
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.
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