Sunday, 12 November 2017

Ashes Test - Final Thoughts

Ultimately both teams were beaten by the North Sydney Oval pitch, as England comfortably held off the Aussies on the final day, ending with a handshake an hour before the scheduled close of play on 206/2. Heather Knight (79*) and Georgia Elwiss (41*) saw England to the draw after Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield had fallen midway through the first session of the day. Knight and Elwiss simply dug in and on a slow pitch there was little that the Aussies could do.

This leaves the Aussies 6-4 up in the series and needing to win just one of the three T20Is, which start on the same pitch on Friday. England cannot afford any more slips.

Whilst the last day may have been a bit of an anti-climax, the Test has been an absorbing contest and once again sparked the debate about why the women don't play more Test cricket. The simple answer is because the ICC don't want them to. The reason is that it is not a format they can see being lucrative. That is not likely to change anytime soon, more's the pity.

This will always be the Test that is remembered for Ellyse Perry's magnificent double hundred. She is the consummate professional and the game is lucky that she decided to pursue a career in cricket rather than in football. She will continue to dominate bowling attacks around the world for many years to come, but Australia will need to rely less and lesson on her bowling. She cannot be expected to carry both, and her batting is now far superior to her bowling. Whilst her T20I and ODI batting numbers are good, you definitely feel that, given more opportunities, her Test stats would be out of this world.

The series seems to have captured the attention of the Aussie public, with 12,000 turning up to watch the Test. Crowds for the three T20Is are likely to also be very good. It will be the most watched Women's Ashes series in Australia to date.

The series will be swiftly followed by the WBBL, again with increased television coverage and bigger crowds.

Women's cricket in Australia has become mainstream. It has become a viable career option. Who would have thought that five years ago?


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