Random Thoughts: Women’s Ashes 1st T20

Knightmare

England have lost the Women’s Ashes, and there can’t be any excuses; but the gods were not on their side today. Heather Knight’s wicket was a nightmare for all concerned, not least the umpires who gave her out, then not out, and then out again. Yes it is complicated but they are paid to know the laws, and Law 27.3 is pretty clear:

“The wicket-keeper shall remain wholly behind the wicket at the striker’s end from the moment the ball comes into play until a ball delivered by the bowler touches the bat or person of the striker or passes the wicket at the striker’s end or the striker attempts a run.”

“In the event of the wicket-keeper contravening this Law, the striker’s end umpire shall call and signal No ball as soon as applicable after the delivery of the ball.”

Zooming-in on the moment the ball hit the bat, it is pretty clear that Healy’s gloves are marginally ahead of the wicket.

Yes, it is “marginal” but the 3rd umpire has a high-definition camera perfectly positioned to make these kinds of decisions, so you can only assume he didn’t know the law, which is… not great, to be honest.

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp – the romanticised hero of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – was in real-life a reckless gambler who was always looking to make a fast buck. Danni Wyatt on the other hand… Well, joking aside, she can actually play big, sensible innings – we’ve seen it at county. But for England in the T20 format her role has always been to chase fast runs; and a career strike rate of over 100 attests that she has actually been quite successful in that regard – never more so than today when her 50 off 36 balls got England to a position where the game was defendable.

Bark At The Mooney

It was a defendable target, but ultimately not even the Prince of Darkness himself could have stopped Beth Mooney today – she pushed on well past 50, maintaining a Strike Rate of 150 which saw Australia win the game by a country mile. Of course, Meg Lanning will be straight back into the team as soon as she is fit again, but with so many different Aussie batsmen standing up at different times in this series, it might be a close call if she wasn’t the captain!

Heather Is Human

Heather Knight’s “game-face” never slips in front of the media, but it did today in the post-match interviews – for once you could see how much it really mattered to her, and I don’t think it will do too much harm for people to know that there really is a human under that implacable mask. It hasn’t been the Women’s Ashes result she (or we) wanted, but she’ll be back… and so will England!

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11 thoughts on “Random Thoughts: Women’s Ashes 1st T20

  1. I know this is the best team we have and I know we have in the WSL the beginnings of a professional game.

    But unless we speed things up and make the best of our academy, so there is more competition for places next summer/winter.

    The Aussies and WBBL will create a huge gap in performance and strength of depth.

    PS I know Club umpires who understand and apply the keeping rule VERY stringently as more and more keepers stand-up to the stumps. So its beyond shocking.

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  2. Yes it is a shame but there are a few things to focus on.
    The Aussies are strong, give them a sniff of a chance to win a game they will grab it and ensure it happens. They are a good side, consequently the bowlers did take a battering today.
    Remember, England are still one day World Champions, it is not all doom and gloom…..yet!
    The Robinson takeover has made the squad much, much fitter. This has filtered down through the Academy and the Women’s MCCU squad at Loughborough and other MCC Universities.
    However, the England team comprises 70% of the players pre-Robbo, is it time to blood in new faces?
    Finally, whenever possible the women must have full DRS in place for all their games, just like the men.
    Although today proved video evidence is useless if those in place do not know the rules !
    Hopefully the squad can regroup, and with a bit of pressure off perform their best in the last games.

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  3. It is very true to say that England have had some very poor umpiring decisions against them throughout the Ashes series and both Knight and Taylor got bad decisions in today’s game.However England carry too many players in the field who are not natural athletes and the standard of catching throughout The Ashes Series has been very disappointing.Our key leading bowler should be looking to bowl full length Yorkers and not halfway down the wicket and the ball disappearing for six.Full length Yorkers are the hardest ball to hit in any form of cricket.England also need to find at least 2 quality left handed batsmen in their squad.Australia have 2/3 left handers in their squad and it means with a left/right combination bowlers have to continually change their lines and field placements.Most other International teams have at least 2 lefties in their side.

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    • Don’t hold your breath for a left hander. Evelyn Jones, who is perhaps the most likely left hander to make a senior team has been dropped from the Senior and Junior Academy.

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  4. A disappointing day, one that England will want to move on from quickly.

    Work meant I had to make do with TMS for this one. It didn’t make for pretty listening.

    Ultimately, it’s very difficult for any team to recover from 16-4 in a T20 match. England, through Wyatt largely, with help from Sciver and Wilson did just about as well as could be expected from there but Australia were always going to get the runs unless they had a similar collapse.

    England need to refocus now. The Ashes are gone but there is still a series to be drawn and pride to be upheld. We know they are better than today, and they must believe that too.

    The time for inquests will follow. For my part, I always try to take a balanced view. There are always circumstances to be considered, and there’s a fine line between “reasons” and “excuses”. I think England can point to a few of the former in this series, but ultimately Australia, on home turf, have proved to be the better side this time.

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  5. That’s a total thrashing. Seriously ugly bowling figures. Definition of a desperate T20 innings : One’s No 10 hits your only 6. And to think there were concerns about the Australia bowling attack before the series.

    In case anyone is looking for a silver lining, there are very few. Even if England win the next 2 T20s, it will still not be an even series because England lost the ICC World Championship matches by 2-1. Not too many positives so far on this tour (maybe Ecclestone, and Elwiss and Wyatt couldn’t have done much more with their one match opportunity and they have served the drinks beautifully).

    This performance shouldn’t really be too surprising. England only just scraped past South Africa and India in the final stages of the World Cup and Australia got blown away by a Kaur that would have blown any team away. In other words, England were not that far ahead of the others at the World Cup and, as we’ve seen before, winning off season is so difficult.

    This time next year the beaches will be wonderful, the weather great and food even better but England won’t have a Mooney; they won’t have a Kaur. It’s still the same nudge and nurdle T20 battings we’ve peddled for years; artistic stuff with ‘reverses’ and ‘ramps’ but at least we are now fitter and run better between the wickets (according to Robinson). Funny that, not much running required when one belts a 4 or 6 I tend to find.

    PS: Video stills clearly show Healy gloves not behind the stumps before Knight edged it (so therefore Knight is not out). I’ve been so wrong all these years when I’ve berated football for being so slow in adopting such technology – they are wisely still waiting for humans to achieve the level of competency necessary to use video stills. The lesson of this saga is not to feel sorry for Knight (she simply should not have edged it – you’ve got a bat with a face, use it); rather the ICC really need to get their act together by ensuring the Women’s Ashes Series are in future umpired by those at the very top rather using it as some sort of training ground. This view is not just based on this T20.

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    • So why not put the boundaries out further? That will help develop power hitters – I saw some England-qualified players in the KSL who could hit to and over the fence, not just the rope, but where was such hitting power in the T20 squad, at least among players who can construct an innings? Longer boundaries also encourage better running between the wickets – I thought Danni Wyatt and Nat Sciver were outstanding in that regard in last night’s game.

      Why do England keep wasting Danni Wyatt’s talents by dropping her so low in the batting order?

      Onwards to Canberra. 8-8 is still possible!

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  6. Once again the umpiring was terrible. Taylor also on the end of a shocker. Taking that into consideration we were well beaten.
    We do need competition underneath this group of players and investment there but that is probably going to take a while. Clanger is right, you can only do so much with certain players. England are doing really well with the resources they have, getting every last bit out of them but ultimately you need naturally gifted players and we are probably a bit short there. It really puts into perspective what an achievement winning the World Cup was. If I was Robinson I would be asking some serious questions about what is happening underneath. We need left handlers and a leg spinner.
    What Heathers team did though was show great fighting courage to get from 16 for 4 to 131 and they should get some credit for that.
    It’s life I suppose but the inquests after defeats always seem to bring out more comment.

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  7. It is disappointing of course, and as a real supporter seeing poor umpiring is frustrating. But as I tell the girls I coach, it evens itself out…you cannot blame your losses on someone else.
    I am not here to slag off players, the pitches, umpires or anything else…what I want to see is some fundamental changes to the structure of the game that will, in 10 years or so produce a world class outfit – I agree with an earlier poster, the WC win flattered to deceive, England are not ahead of the other teams despite their investment.

    1. Stop this nonsense of County age groups being 2 years – U13, U15, U17. Instead have one for every year like the boys. Why? Because so many talented girls get discarded when there is a log jam ahead of them and very few come back into the system. It is not their fault that they have to compete with girls that are older for the same spot. This way we will not ‘lose’ any promising girl cricketer
    2. Every Club must have a Womens XI and a girls team, or they cannot compete in their league. Clubs have received money from the ECB etc, but use it to pay overseas players etc. This has to stop – its about fairness and equality. If the golf clubs can change so can local cricket clubs. And, given that cricket is a dying sport in England, this will help them to gain more members
    3. Have coaches that coach only girls. I have seen so many (minor) injuries as coaches teach girls as they would boys – you cannot change the female physiology. There has been zero academic work done on the best way to coach girls and women, but Loughborough Uni for example have done endless studies on the men’s game. Change this now
    4. Insist on full transparency on selection at every age group including Academy and the National Side. This is essential to demonstrate a career path for girls who want to become professional. The Womens County Matches are a joke – pay the players and get sponsorship and the odd TV coverage.

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