Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Packed 2016 for England

So the Ashes are over. The debriefs, inquests and analysis can begin.

That is it for international cricket for the England players for 2015. Many will return to their counties for the final weekend of County Championship fixtures on Sunday 13th September, and for some it will then be a trip to Australia for the WNCL (starting 9th October) and/or the Women's Big Bash League, starting on 5th December. Already signed up are Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Charlotte Edwards, Heather Knight, Laura Marsh, Sarah Taylor, Lauren Winfield and Danni Wyatt. Currently contracted England players have been told that they will have to return to the UK before the WBBL semi-finals (21/22 Jan) and the final (24 Jan) are played, to prepare for the tour to South Africa, but Cricket Australia are hoping that the ECB may have a change of mind.

Before that the ECB should announce the new central contracts for England players, which should start on 1st October 2015 for one year. The announcement for the men is usually made in mid-September. In addition the ECB are expected to name shortly an England Women's Winter Training Squad, plus England Academy and age group squads.

All this precedes an unprecedented packed schedule of international and domestic cricket in 2016. England have ICC Women's Championship tours to South Africa, West Indies and Sri Lanka to fit in before the end of the year, plus the T20 World Cup in India starting in mid-March. On top of that they host Pakistan in June (again to include the three ICCWC games) and the inaugural WCSL T20 tournament is pencilled in for two weeks in August. Just add to that the Women's County Championship and that makes a massively busy year.

What England's schedule in 2016 looks like :-

February - tour to South Africa
7th Feb - 21st Feb - 3 ODIs and 3 T20s

March - T20 World Cup India
11th March - 3rd April

June/July - Pakistan tour England
Probably 3 ODIs and 3 T20s

August - Women's Cricket Super League - T20 competiton
15th - 28th August (approximate dates)

Aug-Oct window - tour to West Indies
Probably 3 ODIs and 3 T20s

Oct - Nov window - tour to Sri Lanka
Probably 3 ODIs and 3 T20s



  1. It is a significant increase in the number of games played, and travelling over 2015.

    2015 saw our players play 8 ODIs, 6 iT20s and 1 test. Total = 18 days play

    2016 will see 24 days play PLUS the matches in the iT20 world cup, which will depend on how far we get, but the semis are a minimum and the final should really be expected as well.

    There is no Test scheduled for 2016, but aside from that there are many more matches.
    More cricket is very welcome. The one thing we need most is more matches to give our young players experience and help the selectors work out the best team.

    My only issue is just one short home series. I want to go and see England play as much as possible. Could we not invite Ireland over for some iT20s as well?

    The pattern of matches set for 2016 should be a clear signal for the selectors to pick a squad and stick with it for each tour/series. There's been too much chopping and changing this year. It hurts confidence and doesn't really work. They should only be changing players for injuries or maybe bowlers depending on the surface we're using. Batters should remain in place. Selectors should learn from the poor choices made during this summer.

    The formula used in the Ashes seemed to be i) Pick a squad based on experience (of losing, it would seem) rather than form ii) Lose one of the first 2 games of the format series and panic into a knee-jerk reaction, iii) Drop any batters who've yet to perform for another player who ends up doing even worse (e.g. Winfield for Jones: 3rd ODI) or doesn't even get to contribute (e.g. Elwiss for Winfield: 3rd iT20), iv) wonder why we don't have many players in form. v) Refuse to learn from previous mistakes, rinse and repeat.

    So let's not do that again.

  2. I would like to see ECB only hand out shorter contracts for the Winter.

    The Aussies made use of some very experienced coaches England need to break the Academy cycle that has achieved poor results.

    A root and branch review is needed to know why the team is not performing and why the players of the future are not breaking the ranks.