Why men in charge of cricket should lengthen women’s tests
As part of the new multi-format series, Australia will also play a Test against England this summer, the first time they have played two Tests in a season since 2005 in England. They haven’t played two Tests in an Australian summer for almost 20 years.
In the format developed by Australia and England, and now used in an Australia-India series for the first time, teams play three one-day matches, one test and three Twenty20 matches.
Two points are awarded for day wins and T20, and four points are at stake in the test.
Australia led the series 6-4 after winning the one-day series 2-1 and splitting the points for the drawn test.
Australia coach Matthew Mott is in favor of the format but wants to see five-day tests for the women.
“The five days for me [is the best solution]”said Mott.” The last two tests we lost a full day of cricket [to rain] so we’re basically playing a three day game on a surface that has no wear.
“It’s difficult. If this match had been on another day, I think we would have seen a really good test match. If you’re going to spend that time on it. [four days] I don’t think it’s a lot to ask for one more day.
The larger debate, which has taken place internally within Australian cricket, is whether the money invested in the Women’s Cricket Test would be better spent to have more Women’s Big Bash League matches on free television.
The WBBL has been a great driver of female participation. The increase in the number of children enrolled as participants was driven by girls last season, with a 17.5% increase despite the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, girls made up one-fifth of all participants in Woolworths Cricket Blast.
India dominated the test after beating in the third day and Australia struggled to avoid the follow-up. In the end, not even three statements, including two on the last day, offered a realistic chance of a result after half of the first two days had been swept away.
Mott agreed there could be more debate around the points system for a test, but suggested five-day testing was the real answer.
“Once it was six points [for a Test], now it’s four. Maybe we need more discussions to get back to two so that the teams are ready to roll the dice a little more, ”he said.
“We would have loved to play, but it’s also an opportunity to give up four points to India.”