Let’s face it, its not been a stellar trip for England Cricket in Australia so far. With the England men’s test series defeat being the worst since the Ashes became a thing at the end of the 19th century, a dark cloud seems to have descended over English cricket despite the scorching temperatures of the Australian summer. However, after the men’s humiliation comes the women’s chance to retain the Ashes they won back in the summer and bring some pride back to the three lions emblem.
The format for the W’Ashes (Women’s Ashes) is the same as the one put in place last summer, with a 4 day test, 3 ODIs and 3 T20 games. A win in the Test gives a good advantage for the rest of the series as it comes with 6 points, however the 2 points available in each limited over match means a series win doesn’t just ride on the first game and makes for an interesting tournament.
Heading into the final day of the test its hard to call the winner. The scores on paper definitely put the game in England’s grasp after a brilliant recovery yesterday to reduce Australia’s batting to 57-5, however posting under 200 in the second innings and the unpredictability of Australia’s middle order means anything is possible. At the close of the 3rd day the scores stand on England 190 & 201 v Australia 207 & 57-5, Australia needing 128 runs to win which hopefully England’s bowlers will make sure doesn’t happen. For a full score card check the BBC page here.
After the success of the W’Ashes last summer in England the media do seem to be getting on board with women’s international cricket. Sky Sports have print game reviews and interviews after each day on their website and are planning to show the three T20 matches live on TV, whilst the BBC have 5 Live extra on the air waves covering each day of the test match *(see below for slight grumble) and giving the game a clear presence on their sports news webpages. On top of that the women’s T20 and men’s T20 Internationals will be played as a double header, offering a far larger audience to the women’s game.
*My grumble is this. Coming in from a night out I realised i’d be up to catch the beginning of day 3 of the W’Ashes test on the radio so tuned in and settled down. Coverage started and although it was a broadcast from ABC Grandstand, Australia’s 5 Live equivalent, which seemed rife with Pom bashing and a lot of chat about the upcoming men’s ODI that was due to start at 3am (UK time), I was content. What I wasn’t content with was the coverage being faded out at 3am on the dot and the TMS music starting instead, announcing the commentary from the men’s ODI match. First off, when slightly wine fueled at 3am in the morning, the slightest unforeseen change can freak a girl out more than is rationally acceptable and led to me genuinely believing for a few seconds that my radio was being possessed by the ghost of TMS past. But secondly, it seemed slightly rude when there are two 5 live stations to just take the women’s game off completely and give blatant priority to the men’s. This wasn’t a part of the men’s Ashes series and one that England went on to be thrashed in by 6 wickets. The W’Ashes coverage was still available online but at that time of night on a Saturday most people would be unlikely or lack the coordination to fire up their laptops when they were hoping for a little bit of radio chat to send them off to sleep.
The Women’s Ashes:
|Date||Format||Venue||Points for a Win||Points for a Draw|
|10 – 13 January||Test||WACA, Perth||6||2|
|19 January||ODI||MCG, Melbourne||2||1|
|23 January||ODI||MCG, Melbourne||2||1|
|26 January||ODI||Blundstone Arena, Hobart||2||1|
|29 January||WT20||Blundstone Arena, Hobart||2||N/A|
|31 January||WT20||MCG, Melbourne||2||N/A|
|2 February||WT20||Stadium Australia, Sydney||2||N/A|
Image from http://www1.skysports.com/live-scores/cricket (thanks!)