England Women set to host Test match against South Africa this summer

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Modified Feb 2, 2022 3:05 PM IST

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England is set to host a women’s Test match against South Africa in the summer, the PA news agency understands. The Test would be South Africa’s first since 2014, when they were beaten by an innings and 34 runs in the stand-alone four-day game of the series in India, and their first against England since 2003. The match is expected to be agreed as part of a multi-format series tour for the Proteas in 2022 and is likely to remain a four-day fixture despite calls from the likes of England trio Heather Knight, Kate Cross, and Katherine Brunt to introduce five-day matches for women’s Tests.

England Women set to host Test match against South Africa this summer |  NewsChain
Credits: NewsChain

England was involved in one of the most thrilling finishes to a Test match in recent memory this weekend as the only four-day clash of the Women’s Ashes finished in a draw in Canberra. The tourists almost chased down a target of 257 in 48 overs to snatch victory on the fourth and final day at the Manuka Oval and looked on course to do so when they were left needing 45 runs off the final 60 balls with seven wickets in hand.

However, Meg Lanning’s Australian side fought back and became favorites themselves when England fell to 244 for nine, but Cross and Sophie Ecclestone managed to keep Australia at bay for the final 13 balls to snatch a draw. It was the fifth successive women’s Test to finish in a draw, with the last victory coming in the 2015 Ashes when Australia beat England at Canterbury, and prior to the game, England bowler Cross was one of those to champion an increase to five days. In Canberra, almost an entire day’s play was lost to rain, leaving both captains with difficult decisions to make on the final day to keep all possibilities alive.

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England set to play women’s Test against South Africa in 2022

The International Cricket Council’s laws state that the duration of women’s Test matches in four days, but does allow for the possibility of a reserve day, only if an entire day’s play is lost. It adds that play cannot take place in more than four days. When asked about the possibility of five-day women’s Test matches, the ICC told the PA news agency: “The women’s committee can take this up for discussion and make any recommendations to the CEC (Chief Executives’ Committee).” England’s 2022 home fixtures have yet to be finalized but an official confirmation is expected by mid-February.

Test Match Special (@bbctms) / Twitter
Credits: Twitter

However, Meg Lanning’s Australian side fought back and became favorites themselves when England fell to 244 for nine, but Cross and Sophie Ecclestone managed to keep Australia at bay for the final 13 balls to snatch a draw. It was the fifth successive women’s Test to finish in a draw, with the last victory coming in the 2015 Ashes when Australia beat England at Canterbury, and prior to the game, England bowler Cross was one of those to champion an increase to five days. In Canberra, almost an entire day’s play was lost to rain, leaving both captains with difficult decisions to make on the final day to keep all possibilities alive.

The International Cricket Council’s laws state that the duration of women’s Test matches in four days, but does allow for the possibility of a reserve day, only if an entire day’s play is lost. It adds that play cannot take place in more than four days. When asked about the possibility of five-day women’s Test matches, the ICC told the PA news agency: “The women’s committee can take this up for discussion and make any recommendations to the CEC (Chief Executives’ Committee).” England’s 2022 home fixtures have yet to be finalized but an official confirmation is expected by mid-February.