England left-arm spinner Alex Hartley has joined the clamour of seeing more women’s Test matches in the cricketing calendar. She added that the multi-format series, which has the provision to include a Test match, should be adopted all over the world in women’s cricket.
Since the one-off Test in the women’s Ashes at the Manuka Oval ended in a thrilling draw on Sunday, where England almost chased a record 248 set by Australia, the chatter around having more women’s Test matches has increased, especially extending to five days to be on par with men’s Tests.
“We have to see more women’s Test matches. The more you play Test cricket, the more you learn how to deal with those emotions. There were so many highs and lows throughout that match, which were extreme because they do’t experience playing Tests very often,” wrote Hartley in her column for The Telegraph.
“Across the world, we’ve had three Tests in the last 12-month period, which is far more than in recent years but is still fewer than what England’s men alone play per series. That last Test match has proven that there should be more,” added Alex.
Alex, 28, pointed out if women’s Test cricket is made a regular feature, then they can expect consistent performances from the players. “Sure, you’re not going to make money out of women’s Tests right now but how can you expect to get a return on women’s cricket if you don’t invest in it in the first place.”
“So far, the women have been putting on these performances with next to no prior experience. Imagine what they will be capable of once they start playing regularly. You’ve got to do it properly and that should include Test-match cricket. Multi-format series should be played all around the world.”
Talking about the multi-format series, Alex, a member of England’s 2017 Cricket World Cup-winning side, remarked, “At the moment we largely just see the multi-format Ashes series, but over the last year both England and Australia have also played against India in this way.”
“Now other nations need to play it too; it should be the norm. If you want to make the Ashes special, add another Test match or two to the mix, revise the points in the multi-format series and incentivise Test wins. It’s not that hard.”
“We’re constantly underestimating what women are capable of, so take a gamble and the likelihood is that we’ll all be surprised, again. It has always been a financial reason why we don’t play more women’s Tests. But England, Australia and India don’t really have an excuse for that anymore.”
Alex concluded by saying that the top nations want five days of women’s Tests as they want results and are good enough to get it. “Whether the less experienced nations will be ready for a full five or even four days, who knows, but there’s no need to be rigid about this.”
“Part of me thinks just let the women get on with it and play the full whack because we’ve got a habit of underestimating what these players are capable of, while the’ve got a habit of surprising us.”