Former female cricketer Sudha Shah calls for Women’s World Test Championship

Former Indian all-rounder Sudha Shah calls for the introduction of a World Test Championship and a three-match Test series for women.

Former female cricketer Sudha Shah calls for Women's World Test Championship
Former female cricketer Sudha Shah calls for Women’s World Test Championship

The Indian women’s team led by skipper Harmanpreet Kaur whitewashed South Africa in the ODI series. They are now all set to face the Proteas led by skipper Laura Wolvaardt for a one-off red-ball Test match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk in Chennai. The four-day Test match will commence from 28th June 2024 to 1st July 2024.

In recent times we have witnessed hard-fought and intriguing contests between the sides competing against each other in the longest format of the game. Last year in the Women’s Ashes 2023 in England, a historic five-day Test match was played at Trent Bridge, in Nottingham from 22nd to 26th June 2023. Australia ended up on the winning side by 89 runs. The only instance before that when a five-day Test match was played in the women’s game was way back in the year 1992 at the North Sydney Oval, in Sydney between England and Australia from 19th to 23rd February 1992. Australia emerged victorious by an innings and 85 runs.

In the last 17 years, since July 2007, a women’s Test match has been played as a stand-alone game of the series. The last multi-match Test series was played between India and England in August 2006. “I feel, in the first place, they should stop the one-off Tests. They should be playing at least three Tests minimum, three-Test series, and I think the other (national) associations should be educated about it. Maybe, ICC should say that they have to be playing (Tests) or introduce a Test Championship.” Sudha Shah speaks about the introduction of a multi-match Test series and potentially the World Test Championship for women.

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Sudha Shah is a former Indian all-rounder, she has played 21 Test matches and scored 601 runs in 38 innings, at an average of 18.78 with the bat, and picked up five wickets in 20 innings with the ball. She has also played 13 ODIs and scored 293 runs at an average of 24.41 in 12 innings with the bat. She has also picked up a couple of wickets in eight innings with the ball. Her last appearance at the international level came in a Test match against Australia in February (9-12th February) 1991 at the Richmond Cricket Ground, in Melbourne.

Many established, former, and current players and experts have voiced their opinions on the introduction of a multi-match Test series and also a potential introduction of the World Test Championship cycle for women, in order to make it more competitive and engaging. The Inaugural edition of the World Test Championship in the men’s game was played in the year 2019, over a two-year cycle with the final being played in the year 2021. The top two teams from the WTC points table contested the final in the inaugural edition. New Zealand led by skipper Kane Williamson emerged as the Inaugural World Test Champions in 2021. India has ended up as the runners-up of both the editions of the WTC cycle (2019-2021, and 2021-2023).

(Quotes sourced from The Hindu India).

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