“Women’s Tests will not be part of the landscape moving forward,” says Greg Barclay

It is often said that Test cricket is arguably the best form of cricket. As the name suggests, it tests almost all the aspects of a cricketer, including skill, tactics, and temperament. While the men cricketers have enjoyed playing more Test cricket than their female counterparts, it is likely that a similar trend will continue in the future.

 

Indian Women's Team for the Test against England. PC: Getty Images
Indian Women’s Team for the Test against England. PC: Getty Images

 

Apart from Australia, England, and India, the women cricketers from other countries do not play much Test cricket. However, this situation is unlikely to improve as Greg Barclay, the ICC Chief has warned the fans of further reduction in women’s Test cricket. Barclay said, “Women’s Tests will not be part of the landscape moving forward to any real extent.”

When a cricketer is quizzed on the format she would like to play, more often than not her answer is Test cricket. Test is unequivocally the best form of cricket as far as the sanctity of the game is concerned. A player, even if has achieved a lot of success in the white-ball format, dreams of playing red-ball cricket and doing well in that. However, this dream of playing the longest format could only remain a dream for most of the women cricketers as the ICC does not see a bright future for Test cricket.

To date, 143 women’s Tests have been played, with the first Test being played in 1934. Since 2015, only five Tests have been played. With the focus shifting more and more towards the shortest format, it is expected that there will not be any increase in the scheduling of Test matches for women.

Barclay said, “If you look at the way cricket is going there is no doubt that white ball is the way of the future – that is the game that is sought after by the fans, where the broadcasters are putting their resources and what is driving the money.”

He also emphasized on the fact that in order to have more Test cricket for women, the domestic structure in their respective countries need to be strong. At present, not many countries have multi-day cricket tournaments for domestic women cricketers.

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The lack of Test cricket in the future is not restricted to just women. Even men’s Test cricket is likely to be affected going forward. Thankfully, men’s Test cricket is surviving because the other formats of the men’s game are making money to support the longest format. However, in the case of the women’s game this is not the case.

Quotes are sourced from the Guardian

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I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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