Caution urged over more women's red ball cricket matches
Australia secured an 89-run win at Trent Bridge in the only Test of the Women’s Ashes last night, with the game well supported both at the ground and on television.
But, former England international Nicky Shaw has urged caution over calls to play more women’s Test cricket on the back of an enthralling Ashes contest between Australia and England.
Shaw told Sports Breakfast plans to accelerate the development of women’s red ball cricket needed to be well-considered.
“You can play all the international Test cricket you like, but I think we did see periods of play over the last five days where the girls aren’t used to it, and that’s because they don’t play it in the domestic set-up,” Shaw said.
“They probably need to address that first. I think the domestic set-up needs to at least play some form of two-day cricket, just to get the girls into that mindset.
“I would love to see more Test cricket. I think the girls love it, I think they understand how to play the game, but without the domestic set-up, it’s probably not going to be what we think it’ll be.”
Shaw said a contest where the ascendency ebbed and flowed between the two sides was a strong advertisement for the women’s game.
“There was lots of different periods of play where I think everybody could see that the girls are massively talented,” she said.
“There were lots of periods of play where they were lacking in tactical knowledge and awareness.
“The fact that the game is moving forward so quickly and the girls are able to adapt to a longer format like that just shows how far the game has come.”
The Test featured some historic performances, with England’s Tammy Beaumont making her country’s first double century in Test cricket alongside Sophie Ecclestone claiming ten wickets for the match, while Ash Gardener spun Australia to victory in the fourth innings with an eight-wicket haul.
“[Gardener] bowled particularly well. She spun the ball, she showed great control, she showed why she got picked as one of the first spinners in that team,” she said.
“Tammy showed some absolute class when she was batting. She’s always been a class batter but she’s struggled for the last year or so … to have that level of skill and mentality to score that many runs in an Ashes game is a testament to her.
“[Ecclestone] bowled very, very well. I don’t believe she’s bowled all that well in Test matches prior to this one, she’s obviously got a fantastic one day record and is the best T20 bowler in the world, so I think it was part of her make up to want to do well.”
Australia has taken a commanding lead in the multi-format series with the victory, with England needing to win six of the seven upcoming white ball games to claim the Ashes back.