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Belinda Clark – Focus for women’s cricket ‘needs to continue on the shorter formats’

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Says she wouldn’t change anything until 10-15 nations are playing top-class white-ball cricket

Belinda Clark believes that the limited-overs formats should remain the primary vehicle for the expansion of women’s cricket, and switching the focus to Tests may not reap the desired results “until such time as we’ve got 10-15 nations that are playing high-quality T20 and then 50-over cricket”.

“I think the focus for the women’s game needs to continue on the shorter formats: T20 and 50-over [cricket],” Clark, the former Australia captain and till recently head of Cricket Australia’s community cricket department, said at Monday’s launch of ICC’s 100% Cricket – Future Leaders Programme. “And I say that because if our objective is to spread the game globally and grow depth in the teams that are competing internationally, you do need a focus and that focus needs to be directed at certain formats.

“Otherwise what will happen is everyone will spend a little bit of money on everything and nothing actually will change.”

At its recent cricket committee meeting, the ICC board decided that Test and ODI status would be given to women’s teams of all Full Member countries. In principle, the move increased the number of women’s ODI and Test teams from ten to 12. Thus, Ireland – who already had T20I and ODI status – and Afghanistan – who are yet to enter a women’s team in any major event – joined their men’s counterparts in acquiring Test status.



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David Saker on Newlands ball-tampering controversy

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The then Australia bowling coach has likened the team’s ‘monumental mistake’ to the underarm incident of 1981

David Saker, Australia’s bowling coach at the time of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, has said the controversy will continue to taint Australian cricket much like the underarm incident of 1981 has done.



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Gender equality campaigners call on Lord’s to cancel men’s Varsity fixture

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The Stump Out Sexism (SOS) campaign has called upon Marylebone Cricket Club to revoke its traditional invitation to Oxford and Cambridge universities to play the men’s Varsity match at Lord’s, unless a women’s game is also included.

Replying to a request from the campaign to “step in” to find an “equitable solution” to a disagreement about gender parity in university cricket, the MCC chief executive, Guy Lavender, wrote in a letter on Friday that Lord’s would be “very happy to accommodate a men’s and women’s T20 double header on the same day next year” in response.

But he also suggested the dispute was “primarily a matter for [the] respective universities” and stopped short of committing to intervene to ensure the match came to fruition.

While that response has encouraged the organisers of the SOS campaign, who have noted they won more commitment from MCC in two days than they had from the universities’ cricket clubs in two-and-a-half years, they describe themselves as “not completely satisfied”.

They argue that MCC could go further and use their power as hosts to insist on gender parity. The men’s varsity match has been played (in various formats) at Lord’s for almost 200 years. The women’s match has never made it beyond the Nursery Ground and this year, with Lord’s undergoing a redevelopment, has not even made it that far.

Now, while expressing their appreciation for the MCC offer, the SOS campaign have called for a “further commitment to ensuring the Varsity fixture is equitable”.



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Women’s cricket – India Women set to tour Australia in September 2021

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CA is yet to confirm the make-up of the postponed series, but an announcement is expected soon

India Women are set to tour Australia for a bilateral series in September. The tour, originally comprising three ODIs and slated for January this year, was officially postponed in December 2020. A report on the Cricket Australia website at the time said the series, rescheduled for the 2021-22 season, would be expanded to include three T20Is.

While CA is yet to make an official announcement on the dates or make-up of the series, Australia pace bowler Megan Schutt said on a recent podcast that her side’s next assignment would be against India.

“We have got a tour against India in mid-September,” Schutt said on No Balls: The Cricket Podcast, hosted by Kate Cross and Alex Hartley, in an episode aired on May 13. “So, there’s a couple of camps. I believe we are doing one in Darwin, which will be really cool… and then the tour against India. And then pretty much from there things get crazy with Big Bash, WNCL, Ashes, World Cup, and hopefully the Commonwealth Games.”

It is understood the Australian board will make an announcement regarding the new dates for the series soon.



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