England women’s team captain Heather Knight has called for five-day trials in women’s cricket instead of the current four-day format after England drew against India in the recently concluded event in Bristol. Knight also stressed the need for the ECB to provide new fields for women’s parties.
The women of India forced a draw against host England after the tail of the visitors persistently struggled to avoid defeat on the final day of the single event at County Ground, Bristol.
Rookies Sneh Rana (80 *) and Taniya Bhatia (44 *) lined up forces to add an undefeated 104 for the ninth-field association that denied England, and the resilient performance meant the visitors walked away with a well-deserved draw.
However, the match might well have had a result, if the game had been a five-day affair, as is the case with men’s test matches. The draw saw England captain Heather Knight also call for a five-day format in women’s cricket, to achieve a potential result.
“The five-day testing could be the way to go. I think if there was another day, what a final day it would have been,” Knight told BBC Sport.
The women of England have played 96 events so far since 1934 and have only won 20 of them, while 62 matches ended in a stalemate. As has been the case with many games in the past, the Bristol event was also affected by rain, with Knight lamenting the weather playing spoilers, describing it as a less than ideal setting.
“So many games ended in draws and a little rain and slow play didn’t help our cause,” Knight said.
“I think because of the way we played every game, we were trying to move the game forward and force that result.
“Obviously the rain on the third day didn’t help us much and not doing all the overs was not ideal, but we did everything we could.”
Both teams played on a field that was over 37 years old, as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was unable to provide a new field in Bristol. Knight claimed he had no problems with the field, but questioned whether such provisions would have occurred in men’s cricket.
“The pitch was absolutely fine. We saw a bit of a change at lunch on the first day, which is not ideal,” Hartley told Test Match Special, “Knight said.
“There was nothing wrong with the field so I can’t fault 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.