A piss-easy way to carve out extra time for each women’s Test match

Posted by
2 minute read

England’s men’s team are halfway through playing two Tests in two weeks against different opponents. England’s women’s team have a full year to wait until their next Test against anyone.

The comparisons are easy, jarring and awful. The New Zealand/India fortnight is only the middle back-to-back for the men after one wholly against New Zealand last month and another against South Africa in August.

England’s women hadn’t played a Test since January and have none lined up this winter. South Africa – their opponents this week – hadn’t played one since 2014. The one before that was in 2007, against the Netherlands.

Imagine how you’d feel in that situation. One Test a year or one Test every eight years and finally another one’s arrived! Careers are short. Tests are remembered. This is a big, big deal. Can’t wait to get out there and…

The scarcity of women’s Tests can make them feel more significant, but this only works if they’re allowed enough time to complete them. A four-day Test is theoretically only 50 overs shorter than a five-day Test, but in practice a rainy day can easily whack out a quarter of the allotted playing time.

England’s last five Tests have been drawn.

“I’m pretty clear on my opinion – when we play so few Tests and so sparsely it should be five days to try and get a result,” said Heather Knight.

That makes sense, but only as a bare minimum. There should clearly be more matches too.

If nothing else, that would carve out a bit of time by shortening the pre-match cap presentations. England had four debutants this week. South Africa had nine. They could probably add five or six overs to the game if that didn’t happen literally every single Test match.

“It is a format we love playing,” said Knight.

You wonder how they can be so certain.

Join the King Cricket email gang. It’s an easy gang to be in. We won’t ask you to whack any made guys or anything. If you read one email in three, that’ll be a perfectly acceptable contribution to gang life.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Yup. Having one test every year or decade or so is akin to working a one hour week. This means to say “what’s the point”. I’d apply the same sentiment to the men’s game, to a lesser degree of course.

    What happened to a proper test series, the five game series. Back when such things existed, it was considered an event, the event of the cricketing year. Now it’s reduced to three at best (men’s Ashes aside) or one of those ridiculous two-fers, all quickly forgotten.

    If the powers that be are watering the game down so much that we’re reduced to one-game or two-game test series, what’s the point of test cricket.

    The women’s SA vs England should be a five game, five day test series – a proper cricketing event again.

    Now look what I’ve been and gone and done. All serious and wotnot. I shall ensure my next post wil be very silly.

  2. ‘Pants off down the pitch’, says P Tufnell.

    Punctuation is important, kids. Stay in school.

    1. We feel obliged to reply, “What the fuck you talking about?” even though some people will take this the wrong way.

Comments are closed.