Womens Test team of the 2010s

While many end-of-the-decade cricket reviews have named multi-genre womens teams of the 2010s, I have decided to drill down and select eleven women based upon the best Test performances of the decade.

Why? To recognise an endangered, yet highly valued part of our sport. Highly valued that is, by those who play and follow Test cricket for women, not from those governing bodies who pretend it doesn’t happen.

During the decade of the 2010s (and I explain why the period 1/1/2010 to 31/12/2019 is a valid decade here) there were eight women’s Test matches played worldwide. 

Eight. In the whole world. In ten years. Count ’em.

England played in seven of the eight, Australia in six. India two, South Africa one. All the other countries where women play cricket, zero. And there has been no women’s Test not played between Australia and England since November 2014.

If no one cared about Test cricket for women we could probably put up the “Extinct” sign, but people do. The players from Australia and England, who want more Test matches, the players from New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and elsewhere who just want to play, full stop.

It’s one thing to argue that Test cricket for women is a gender equity issue, but there’s a reason why apathy and/or resistance is found in the general direction of the ICC and their media overlords – and that is that they have no respect for Test cricket for men. 

There is so little interest in expanding men’s Test cricket, look at the demise of the Intercontinental Cup as an offshoot of that attitude. Why would they show an interest in extending the genre so that women can compete as often as the men? But this and other issues on the future of Test cricket will be my topic of future discussion in other articles.

With that long overture done, here is my eleven. Because of the small statistical sample, some players have been chosen on the basis of one performance only. I have included at least one representative from each competing nation during the decade. Some players have been selected for reasons outside their best known expertise, and I have disregarded T20 and ODI form completely.

Womens Test Team of the 2010s:

1 Heather Knight ENG
2 Thirush Kamini IND
3 Charlotte Edwards ENG capt
4 Mignon du Preez SAF
5 Ellyse Perry AUS
6 Sarah Taylor ENG wk
7 Harmanpreet Kaur IND
8 Jenny Gunn ENG
9 Rene Farrell AUS
10 Megan Schutt AUS
11 Jhulan Goswami IND

Kamini was named on the basis of one innings, 192 against South Africa at Mysore in 2014. Du Preez was chosen for her 102 for South Africa in that same match, Harmanpreet Kaur has been selected as the only slow bowler in the side, having taken nine wickets (5/44 and 4/41) in that same Mysore Test. Mithali Raj’s best Test performances, including her double century, came in the 2000s.

Ellyse Perry was far and away the most successful female Test cricketer of the 2010s, scoring 573 runs at 114.6 and taking 26 wickets at 16.73 in her six Test appearances.

What’s in a decade?

Before I plunge into a series of annual reviews, let me address that most burning of questions: Have we reached the end of the decade?


Some people will insist that we haven’t. My answer: We have reached the end of a decade.


A decade is any consecutive period of time lasting ten years. A decade is what you make it. A person is in the decade they would call their “thirties” from their 30th birthday until the day before their 40th. for example.


When people insist that the decade runs from the start of 2011 to the end of 2020, what they are actually referring to is the 202nd decade Anno Domini – a fixed sequence of decades counted from what was historically believed to be the birth of Jesus Christ. No one calls it the 202nd Decade of course, and few people even think about it. (And let’s not start on the differences between the Gregorian and Julian calendars.) It’s just another sequence that makes up a decade.


The decade most commonly known as “The 2010s” began on 1 January 2010 and ends on 31 December 2019, and when I refer to “Team of the Decade” and so forth in coming posts, that is the decade I will be referring to. 

A hundred

The Hundred is a camel designed by a Horse Committee. A Horse Committee specially convened despite all the perfectly fine thoroughbreds grazing the paddock. 

A contrivance, built on the run by an organisation that got it right sixteen years ago, with what we now call the T20 Blast, but decided they wanted more. And a contrivance that had to be different for the necessity of it being different if it was going to exist. 

A development process that looks from the outside like it was written for a Project Management How Not-To Manual. A program in which participation by female cricketers seems to have been an afterthought which still hasn’t been fully fleshed out. 

There are many reasons why I believe The Hundred should never have happened. But it is happening. The teams are created, the coaching staff hired, many of the players drafted. The sponsors – all brand names of one “snack food” manufacturer – have been announced, as have the team kits which look deliberately like said snack food wrappers.  

The rules of The Hundred may or may not be so simple that “mums and kids” (shorthand, presumably, for “Grocery Shopper With Child”) can understand them. I am sceptical that they will be. Every aspect of The Hundred can almost be visualised by the scribble on the whiteboard upon which they surely were invented. 

I am sceptical about The Hundred’s entire Reason For Being. But now it’s time to move forward. The ECB has staked so heavily on The Hundred that it is entering the Too Big To Fail category. But even if this brave new Cricket-As-Game-Show is a success, and by whichever metric is convenient on the day it surely will be, will the rest of English cricket flourish along with it? 

What of the eighteen-team major county system? What of equal playing opportunity for women at county level and above? What of the T20 Blast? What of England’s competitiveness in fifty and twenty-over World Cups? What of the kids? 

I look forward in the coming years to new and exciting creations from the ECB’s Horse Committee. 

Steve Smith wins the 2019 Midwinter-Midwinter

Australia’s Steve Smith is the winner of the Midwinter-Midwinter for 2019.

Smith accumulated the most points during the 2019 Ashes for the Best-on-Ground awarded on each day of each of the five Tests as announced on the @rickeyrecricket Twitter account.

Smith, playing his first Test series since his twelve-month suspension for a Cricket Australia Code of Conduct breach, scored 774 runs in four Tests at an average of 110.57, with a top score of 211 among his three centuries. In only one of his seven innings did he fail to reach 80.

The first player in Test history to be substituted because of concussion, Smith missed one-and-a-half Test matches yet was still rated Best On Ground on five separate days during the series.

With the best three players ranked each day on 3-2-1 basis, Smith amassed an exceptional 19 points for the series. This was Smith’s second victory in the Midwinter-Midwinter, having come first in the 2017-18 Ashes with a score of 17.

There was a three-way tie for runner-up between Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Jofra Archer, who each scored 11 points.

Full tally:
19 – Steve Smith;
11 – Jofra Archer, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins;
8 – Joe Root;
7 – Stuart Broad, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes;
6 – Rory Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon;
5 – Matthew Wade;
3 – Mitchell Marsh;
2 – Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tim Paine, Chris Woakes;
1 – Sam Curran, Travis Head, Jack Leach, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, David Warner;
0 – Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Peter Siddle.

In total, Australians scored 67 points to England’s 54.

The full spreadsheet of the daily scores can be seen here.

The Midwinter-Midwinter is the @rickeyrecricket BoG (Best on Ground) award given for the most valuable player of each Ashes Test series.

There is no physical award as such, and the Midwinter-Midwinter is not endorsed by any cricket board, advertising agency or anti-doping authority. But most importantly, it’s not the Compton-Miller Medal.

Points are awarded for the best three players on each day of a Test match in the series, on a 3-2-1 basis. 

The Midwinter-Midwinter is named for Billy Midwinter (1851-1890), the only person to have played Test cricket for both Australia and England in Test matches against each other.

Further explanation of the Midwinter-Midwinter, its background, the scoring system and past winners can be seen here.

Sydney Thunder pre T20 era XI

As part of a debate that developed downstream from a team listing put together by Brad Hodge and tweeted by @7cricket a few days ago (see below), I have assembled a hypothetical Sydney Thunder squad of players from the pre-T20 era.

Criteria for inclusion:

  1. They must have played for a club (or a predecessor) that competes in the Thunder Conference of the 2018-19 Kingsgrove Sports T20 competition in NSW Premier Cricket (that is: Bankstown, Blacktown, Campbelltown-Camden, Fairfield-Liverpool, Hawkesbury, Northern District, Parramatta, Penrith, Sydney University, Western Suburbs, ACT, Central Coast)
  2. They must not have played in a major T20 tournament since the birth of the format in 2003. (I have included the ICL in this definition, which disqualifies Michael Bevan)

Continue reading “Sydney Thunder pre T20 era XI”

Merry Ashesmas!

The biggest rivalry in cricket? Comparing The Ashes to other cricketing rivalries is like comparing Sir Donald Bradman to other batsmen. It beats everything else by a huge margin.

With about three hours till the start of the Ashes of 2017-18, both teams have their vulnerabilities. I’m predicting with some degree of confidence that Australia will regain the Ashes yet with the knowledge that fortunes could change at any time in this seven-week journey.
Continue reading “Merry Ashesmas!”