A sport like Cricket has a number of rivalries between teams then be it India vs Pakistan or England vs Australia, the two greatest known rivalries. While India and Pakistan meet occasionally, England and Australia play against each other every two years in one of the biggest cricket competitions ‘The Ashes’. Played by both men and women teams of the two countries, the race to the trophy consists of test matches in the men’s tournament and since 2013 includes ODIs and T20Is along with the tests for women with Australia being the most successful team for both (33 series for Men and 9 titles for Women).
Now as we shift our focus from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) towards this fierce competition, let’s have a look at the past editions of women’s Ashes.
The start of Women’s Ashes
Starting with the inaugural season back in 1934-35, a long time after the men’s first season was played in 1882-83, Ashes for women were only considered as test matches. However, from 2013 onwards, a point system was introduced and so were ODIs and T20Is following the point system of 4 points to the Test match-winner (2 each if it ends in a draw) and 2 each for every ODI and T20I. The 2019 Ashes title holder, Australia, who is also regarded as the most successful team of Women’s Cricket takes the lead in the Ashes as well with 9 titles while England has 6 out of the 23 series with the remaining ending in a draw for the women.
Most Successful Players in Women’s Ashes
Leading the run-scorer tally is former English legend Charlotte Edwards who has a total of 1534 runs in the 31 matches of the Ashes she played at 40.36 with the best of an unbeaten 114. Just behind her is Australia’s all-rounder Ellyse Perry with 1493 runs in 38 matches/45 innings at 55.29, the best being the highest individual score of innings in Ashes and the third highest in test overall, an unbeaten 213. Perry also records the second most number of 50 + scores (11) of the series, just two behind Edwards and two ahead of her Australian captain Meg Lanning who also holds the third spot in the run-scorer category with 1127 runs in 28 matches and leads with the highest WT20I individual Ashes score and the second highest WT20I individual score overall (113). The star Australian Perry seems to have a command over the Ashes stats as she also leads the wicket-takers tally with 64 wickets at the economy rate of 3.44 with the best spell of 7/22 in an innings. Following Perry in the wicket-takers list is England’s Katherine Brunt with 59 wickets from 32 matches/ 40 innings. Brunt has the best innings figure of 6/69 at an economy of 3.27.
Women’s Ashes 2021-22
The next edition of Ashes for women begins on January 27 with the only test followed by three T20Is between 4th to 10th February and three ODIs between 13th to 19th February, ending just around a couple of weeks before the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup. Though Australia has been the favourite of women’s cricket, injuries have become a concern for them after two of their star players, bowler Georgia Wareham and all-rounder Sophie Molineux have been ruled out a ruptured ACL and stress fracture respectively suffered during the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).
This year, both Australia and England have played the White Ferns and the Women in Blue. With the White Ferns in April, they had a clean sweep in the ODIs and the three-match T20I ended in a draw after the third T20I saw no result due to rain. The next they played was against India in September in what was said to be a nail-biting series with both the teams performing exceptionally well. Though Australia got the better of them in the ODIs and T20Is with the historic pink ball test ending in a draw. This was followed by a brilliant performance in their league WBBL. For England, they dominated over New Zealand in February/ March, getting a clean sweep in the T20I, and winning the ODI series as well. They then hosted India in June/July in which the only test resulted in a draw and the host took the ODI and T20I series. The team then met the White Ferns yet again in September leading over them this time as well.
Thus, both the teams are strong competitors in women’s cricket, and looking at their form, it seems like we would be having a great Ashes series. Also, with a number of tournaments lined up, we are hopeful for a great cricketing season starting next month.
Meanwhile, Ashes for men got underway yesterday i.e., December 8th, and will go on till January 18th, 2022.
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