On Wednesday August 1 2018 at Edgbaston an England team walks on the field to begin a Test match for the 1000th time.
Among the reflections, the listicles and the shallow on-line polls, people have been choosing their greatest and/or favourite Test matches of the previous 999 (actually 1004 if you count washouts and cancellations). Headingley 1981 and Edgbaston 2005 are both, quite rightly, very popular selections. Lack of television footage and eyewitness recollections from The Oval 1882 have prevented it from polling as high.
Before the Australian women’s cricket team played their touring England counterparts in Brisbane in December 1934, the following directive appeared in the Courier Mail:
No one in the press or elsewhere paid any attention to this instruction, and the first women’s Test match concluded at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground on New Year’s Eve 1934, the visiting English winning by nine wickets.
England’s women’s cricket team headed to the Antipodes in January 2000 to play one-day internationals in Australia and New Zealand. By the time they were ready to head east across the Tasman, England had lost the ODI series to Australia 0-4 and Karen Smithies had resigned as captain.
What started as a midsummer diversion in the English cricket season of 2003 became a multi-million dollar enterprise in India in 2008, and now almost every Test playing nation has its own professional Twenty20 competition, squeezed into their domestic program.
Nothing will stop me from cursing the England and Wales Cricket Board for their counterproductive policy of scheduling women’s tours simultaneously with the men. There’s an important, indeed, sudden-death women’s Test match going on at New Road, Worcester which is being totally eclipsed for media attention by the most riveting men’s Ashes series in almost a quarter of a century. Continue reading “Worcester Test Day One”