Member of ICC Women’s Committee and leading voice at Cricket Australia Belinda Clark has confirmed that the ICC’s policy going forward is to continue to focus on the shorter formats of the game, with no intention to increase the amount of Test cricket played.
Speaking on commentary during the third day of the Ashes Test at the North Sydney Oval, Clark said:
“If we’re thinking about growth of the international game, the answer to that question is T20.”
“The one-day game also has a place – the World Cup in England shows that.”
The current match has already broken recent records for attendance at a women’s Test in Australia, with over 6000 people present over the first two days, but Clark nonetheless rejected the suggestion that the ICC might seek to encourage the playing of more women’s Tests:
“This game is absolutely critical for these two nations [England and Australia], but beyond that, I’m not sure that Test cricket holds a place in people’s hearts.”
ECB’s director of women’s cricket Clare Connor has previously placed her full support behind the longer-format, stating:
“I would never want to be part of an administration that strikes a line through Test cricket. I would hate that.”
“I will fight to continue to [keep Tests alive].”
Nonetheless Cricket Australia has consistently refused the ECB’s suggestion that the Women’s Ashes might be expanded to incorporate two or even more Test matches.
The statement by Clark today appears to confirm that policy, at least for the immediate future.