England captain welcomes ‘special’ first women’s five-day Test

England captain Heather Knight. — AFP/File

London, England of women Cricket captain Heather Knight on Wednesday welcomed the news that her side will play a five-day Ashes Test at Trent Bridge next year.

gave England And the Wales Cricket Board and Cricket Australia have agreed to end the long-standing convention limiting women’s Test matches to four-day affairs in 2023.

There have been just six women’s Tests around the world in the last five years, all ending in draws after full time, but now the marquee event of the multi-format series will have three extra sessions to reach a more fitting conclusion.

The move brings parity with the men’s Ashes program that was announced at the same time.

The women’s Test begins on June 22, two days after the conclusion of the men’s Edgbaston opener against Australia, and represents England for the first time.

And Knight, whose side will also play T20Is at The Oval, Edgbaston and Lord’s for the first time, offered a ringing endorsement.

“I’m very happy, I feel like I’ve been playing the drums for five days, so it’s a special moment,” she told Britain’s PA news agency.

“It feels like the right time, for five days, for big pitches, and it feels like it’s been a long time coming. Last year’s South Africa Test was well organized but the rain. The reason was over and he was not given a chance to finish, so this is a very good step by the boards.

“I’ve spent most of my career being grateful for what you’ve given me. It was a bonus when I started anything, you were just happy to play the game you loved for England. There are and I don’t even get paid, but my eyes were opened. A little more.

“You look at the inequities that you’ve been through and didn’t really realize. It’s a logical progression to move forward on an equal footing.”

International Cricket Council chief Greg Barclay said during a visit to Lord’s in June that he did not believe Tests were “part of the landscape” in the women’s game and could not see the format “evolving”.

Knight says his side is determined to prove otherwise.

“After these comments we talked about saving the women’s format, taking the game forward, continuing with Test matches and doing everything possible to make them attractive,” she said.

“We want to do everything we can to push it forward, to take more risks, to make it exciting to watch. Hopefully, being at a big ground like Trent Bridge will attract a lot of people and that’s it. Could be a really beautiful opportunity.”

England’s men open their 2023 schedule with a four-day Test against Ireland at Lord’s on June 1 before looking to bounce back from Australia in a five-match series that starts on June 16 and ends in seven Less than a week later, on July 31, the Games will conclude. At Edgbaston, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval.

Former England captain Joe Root is excited about what lies ahead for both teams, telling PA: “Both teams want the Ashes back. With both series happening at the same time, hopefully the Ashes will be one There will be a flurry from which both teams can benefit

“This is a really important step for the women’s game.

“There are few better feelings in cricket than getting over the line and winning a tough Test match, and it can be frustrating when a draw becomes the only option, so it’s sensible to try and get a result in five days and I don’t. See why it should be different from men’s cricket.”

2023 schedule

Men’s Ashes Series

First Test: Edgbaston, June 16-20

Second Test: Lord’s, 28 June to 2 July

Third Test: Headingley, July 6-10

Fourth Test: Old Trafford, July 19-23

Fifth Test: The Oval, July 27-31

Women’s Ashes Series

Test match

Trent Bridge – 22-26 June

IT20 Series

Edgbaston – 1st July

The Oval – 5th July

Lord’s – July 8th

ODI series

Bristol. July 12

Southampton – July 16

Taunton. July 18

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