England captain Heather Knight says five-day Women's Ashes Test was a 'long time coming'

·2-min read
Getty Images

The England and Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have agreed to break the longstanding convention that has restricted the women's Test matches to four-day affairs when they meet again in 2023.

Just six women's Tests have taken place worldwide in the last five years, all finishing in draws after time ran out, but now the marquee event of the multi-format series will have three additional sessions to reach a more fitting conclusion. More importantly, it brings parity with a men's Ashes programme that was jointly announced on Wednesday morning. The women's Test begins on June 22, two days after the conclusion of the men's Edgbaston opener against Australia, and represents a first in England. And Knight, whose side will also play T20s at the Kia Oval, Edgbaston and Lord's for the first time, offered a ringing endorsement. "I'm so happy, I feel like I've been banging the drum for five days for a long time, so it's a special moment," said Knight. "It feels like the right time, for five days, for bigger grounds, and it feels like it's been a long time coming. Last year's South Africa Test was set up nicely but withered out because of rain and it wasn't given the chance to finish, so this is a really good step by the boards. "I probably spent most of my career being grateful for what you're given. When I started out anything was a bonus, you were just happy to be playing the sport you love for England and not even getting paid, but my eyes have opened a bit more. "You see the inequalities you've gone through and and not really realised. Moving forward on an equal footing is a logical progression." Greg Barclay, chair of the International Cricket Council, said during a trip to Lord's in June that he did not believe Tests formed "part of the landscape" in the women's game and could not see the format "evolving". Those sentiments did not go unnoticed and Knight says her side are committed to proving the opposite. "After those comments we talked about trying to save the format for women, to do everything we can to move the game forward, to keep Test matches going and make them appealing," she said. "We want to do everything we can to move it forward, to take more risks, to make it exciting to watch. Hopefully being at a massive ground like Trent Bridge will attract loads of people and it could be a really lovely occasion."

The article England captain Heather Knight says five-day Women’s Ashes Test was a ‘long time coming’ appeared first on Planetsport.com.