England women’s team skipper Heather Knight has called for five-day Tests in women cricket instead of the current format of four days after England drew against India in the recently concluded Test in Bristol. Knight also stressed on the need for the ECB to provide fresh pitches for women’s matches.
India women enforced a draw against hosts England after the visitors’ tail persistently fought to avoid defeat on the final day of the one-off Test at County Ground, Bristol.
Debutants Sneh Rana (80*) and Taniya Bhatia (44*) aligned forces to add an unbeaten 104 for the ninth-wicket partnership that denied England, and the resilient showing meant that the visitors walked away with a well-deserved draw.
However, the match could very well have seen a result had the game been a five-day affair, as is the case with Men’s Test matches. The draw made England women’s captain Heather Knight ask for five-day format in Women’s cricket too, to achieve a potential result.
“Five day Tests could maybe be the way forward. I think if there was another day, what a finish that would have been,” Knight was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
England women have played 96 Tests so far since 1934 and have won only 20 of them, while 62 matches have ended in stalemate. As has been the case with many games in the past, the Bristol Test too was affected by rain, and Knight rued weather playing spoilsport, describing it a less-than-ideal scenario.
“So many games have ended in draws and a little bit of rain and slow play didn’t help our cause,” Knight said.
“I think the way we played all game we were trying to move the game forward and force that result.
“Obviously the rain on day three didn’t help us very much and not getting all the overs in was not ideal as well, but we did everything we could.”
Both teams played on a pitch that was 37 overs old as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) failed to provide a fresh pitch at Bristol. Knight asserted that she had no issues with the pitch, but questioned whether such provisions would have occurred in Men’s cricket.
“The pitch was absolutely fine. We saw a little bit of turn at lunch on day one which isn’t ideal,” Hartley told Test Match Special,” Knight stated.
“There was nothing wrong with the pitch so I can’t criticise that. But that oversight would never happen in men’s cricket, so why did it happen in women’s?”
“Of course it was frustrating,” Knight added.