The grim trial of strength that went mainstream: women’s Test cricket

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:

Excerpt Courier Mail 28 Dec 1934
“The word “test” must not be applied to any of these games, for both the Australian council and the English team refuse to associate with the games any suggestion of the grim trial of strength which the term applies.”

 

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.

It’s taken 83 years for Australia and England to come together for their 49th women’s Test (plus one washed out), and their four-day meeting at North Sydney Oval beginning on Thursday 9 November 2017 was a special occasion as the first to be played as a day-night fixture. Continue reading “The grim trial of strength that went mainstream: women’s Test cricket”

A bit of light reading about the 1999-2000 England womens tour

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.

Working for Cricinfo at the time I covered every ODI of the Australian leg of the tour, and I believe I have the only comprehensive documentation of these games. Continue reading “A bit of light reading about the 1999-2000 England womens tour”

Today In Cricket History July 31

July 31, 2017: Moeen Ali takes a hat-trick with the final three deliveries of The Oval Test to give England victory by 239 runs. Here’s the hat-trick ball:

ICC Womens Cricket World Cup Final 2017, England v India

Highlights from the final of the eleventh Womens Cricket World Cup

Continue reading “ICC Womens Cricket World Cup Final 2017, England v India”

Trevor Bayliss, head coach of England

Trevor Bayliss is one of those rare breed of New South Wales cricketers – one who never seriously threatened for Australian selection! A consistent batsman in Sheffield Shield cricket over a number of years while the Waughs, Taylors and Bevans were spending much of their time away on Test or one-day duty.

Continue reading “Trevor Bayliss, head coach of England”

Eng-ger-land…. sigh

“The performance in the Ashes series has been a great disappointment and a number of lessons must be learned. This review will be comprehensive and broad ranging with the clear objective of regaining the Ashes in 2009 and significantly improving England’s results in one-day international cricket in the next four year cycle.”

– ECB chief executive David Collier, 5.1.07

So there you have it. The England and Wales Cricket Board announced yesterday that they will arrange a board meeting to discuss the process for forming the composition of a review team to examine England’s performances over the last few years and [complete this sentence in 25 words or more]. Continue reading “Eng-ger-land…. sigh”

A great English victory beckons

Something I thought I would never see, well not in this decade anyway, appears to be unfolding at New Road, Worcester, today.

It’s lunch on Day Three of the¬†Second Women’s Test¬†between England and Australia. The visitors made 131 in their first innings. England, after being 227 for 9 at the close of the second day, advanced to 289 all out. Australia faced sixteen overs before lunch. They are currently 13 for 3. Continue reading “A great English victory beckons”

Worcester Test Day One

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”

Old enough to bowl, too young to talk

Cathryn Fitzpatrick had already held her 21st birthday party when Holly Colvin was born. Not turning sixteen till September 7, Colvin became the youngest Test cricketer for the English women on Tuesday. She paid dividends for England by taking three wickets on the opening day of the Hove Test against Australia – Kate Blackwell, Julia Price and Fitzpatrick – but at day’s end was not allowed to talk to the media. Continue reading “Old enough to bowl, too young to talk”

It’s Peden-Archdale time again!

The women’s Ashes Test series began at Hove on Tuesday. I don’t know why the ECB insists on scheduling women’s tours in parallel with their male compatriots. Australia had to do it in 2001 and England toured Australia as the men’s tour was winding up in early 2003. Continue reading “It’s Peden-Archdale time again!”