In a potential Birmingham Commonwealth Games preview, the Australian Women’s Cricket Team takes on England tonight in a T20 match to get the multi-format contest underway.
If you thought the Ashes action ended in Hobart on Sunday night, guess again.
The Australian Women’s Cricket Team are ready to defend the Women’s Ashes trophy against England, with the multi-format contest to begin in Adelaide.
The Ashes kickstarts a massive 2022 season for the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, as the side targets a trifecta of major accomplishments, including the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup starting just days after the Ashes finishes, followed by the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July, where women’s T20 cricket makes its Games debut.
Australian captain Meg Lanning spoke when the Australian team qualified for the Birmingham Games, about her excitement by the potential of a Commonwealth Games gold medal victory to cap the 2022 season and the challenge it presents.
“The women’s game has gone to another level over the past few years and its inclusion at the Commonwealth Games is a huge opportunity to take it further,” Lanning said.
“The announcement of the schedule and qualifying process is an exciting milestone and one that will no doubt create plenty of excitement among players across the globe.
“Winning the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in front of a record crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was absolutely incredible but we’re now looking to the future with some amazing events and challenges on the horizon including the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”
With thanks to Cricket Australia, here is all you need to know ahead of the Women’s Ashes.
What’s the schedule?
Australia are beginning their women’s Ashes defence a week earlier than expected after the schedule was rejigged and brought forward due to the quarantine requirements for the upcoming ODI World Cup in New Zealand.
The Ashes were originally due to begin with the Test starting January 27, followed by three T20Is and three ODIs, ending on February 19.
Now, it starts with three T20Is at Adelaide Oval on January 20, 22 and 23 before the Test is played as scheduled at Manuka Oval from January 27-30.
Canberra will also play host to the first of three ODIs, a day-nighter on February 3, before the series is rounded out by the final two one-dayers at Melbourne’s Junction Oval on February 6 and 8.
The changes were necessary to allow both countries to enter hotel quarantine in New Zealand ahead of the one-day World Cup, due to recent changes made to the country’s border roadmap.
While that tournament does not begin until March 4, both teams are set to play up to two warm-up games in the week leading into the event, and given the isolation requirements, are required to be in New Zealand by mid-February.
Jan 20: First T20, Adelaide Oval
Jan 22: Second T20, Adelaide Oval
Jan 23: Third T20, Adelaide Oval
Jan 27-30: Test match, Manuka Oval
Feb 3: First ODI, Manuka Oval
Feb 6: Second ODI, Junction Oval
Feb 8: Third ODI, Junction Oval
Can I attend?
You sure can! Tickets are now on sale HERE.
All tickets to women’s matches are under $30 each with a family pass on sale for $43, plus transaction fees.
How can I watch?
Every ball of the series will be broadcast live on the Seven Network and Fox Sports, and if you can’t get to a TV, you can head to cricket.com.au or the CA Live app to sign up and stream via Kayo Sports.
And if you prefer to listen to your cricket, tune in to ABC Grandstand’s radio coverage.
How else can I follow?
If you can’t tune in live, or simply want to relive the action again and again – never fear!
You’ll be able to catch up on all the highlights on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app, while our crew on the ground will bring you the latest news and video.
Catch a replay of every wicket in the CA Live app’s match centre, while push notifications can alert you to all breaking news.
What are the squads?
The uncapped Alana King beat out Amanda-Jade Wellington for the vacant leg-spinner’s spot in Australia’s 15-player squad.
King is one of three incoming players along with Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt, who missed the series against India due to injury and parental leave respectively.
The trio replace injured spinners Georgia Wareham (ACL) and Sophie Molineux (foot), while there was no room for fast bowlers Campbell, Maitlan Brown as well as spinner Molly Strano and batter Georgia Redmayne, who were all included in the 15-player Australia A squad instead.
Australia then suffered a huge blow on Monday, when Beth Mooney was struck in the jaw in a freak training accident.
Scans revealed it was fractured and the world’s top-ranked T20I batter had surgery on Tuesday, with her return timeline not yet clear.
Meanwhile England named a strong 17-player squad containing no surprises for the tour, alongside a 12-player ‘A’ squad.
England’s Ashes squads includes recent debutantes Maia Bouchier, who played for Melbourne Stars in Weber WBBL|07, and Charlie Dean.
Australia squad: Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes (vc), Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck
England squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver (vc), Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt
How’s the preparation been?
Unlike any other!
Australia have not played an international since the multi-format series against India last September and October, but their players got in a full WBBL after that.
Since, the Aussie players have had varied preparation, some have played up to three domestic 50-over games, others haven’t played since the end of the WBBL. The change in schedule and bio-security measures saw some fly into Adelaide last week, while others drove from Melbourne, or arrived via charter on Monday.
Australia had two T20 warm-up matches against Australia A at Karen Rolton Oval on Tuesday, with honours split.
But in good news, most of Australia’s big guns found form in an impressive display, while several Australia A players put their hands up for a promotion should they be required to replace Beth Mooney.
England’s preparation was labelled “average” and “comical” by captain Heather Knight, with the updated schedule also throwing their plans into disarray.
Knight’s team last played against New Zealand at home in September, but flew to Oman for a training camp prior to Christmas, giving them an opportunity to train outdoors away from the English winter. However wet weather has made training difficult since their arrival in Australia.
How do the women’s Ashes work?
Unlike the men’s Ashes, the women’s Ashes are a multi-format, points-based series featuring three ODIs, one Test and three T20Is.
The team with the most points at the end of the series is awarded the trophy. An ODI or T20I win earns two points, a loss none and a tie one, no result or abandoned match will earn a single point.
There are four points on offer for the Test, with each team awarded two if there’s a draw.
The Test is also slightly different to the men’s version, played over four days.
Australia are the current holders of the Ashes having regained them on English soil in 2015, retained them at home two years later.
The last time they met in 2019, Australia thrashed England 12-4 on their home turf.
In exciting news, Cricket Australia has confirmed the Decision Review System will be available in the despite the late changes to the schedule, in what will be a first for a women’s bilateral series in the country.
There will be two unsuccessful reviews per team, per innings across the six limited-overs matches, and three unsuccessful reviews per team per innings for the one-off Test at Manuka Oval.
Have the women’s Ashes always been this way?
The points system has been in place since 2013, with England winning the first two editions before Australia bounced back in 2015, while points were split in 2017.
Prior to that, the Ashes were determined solely on the outcomes of Test matches between the two countries. Overall, 22 Ashes series have been held with eight won by Australia, six by England, and eight drawn.
What’s this about Australia A v England A?
For the first time, England have brought a 12-player ‘A’ squad with them to Australia.
It follows the Australia A tour of the UK that ran alongside the Ashes in 2019, and pits some of the most exciting talents in the world against one another.
For Australia, experienced campaigners including Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington and Grace Harris are joined by the likes of Phoebe Litchfield, Georgia Voll, Georgia Redmayne and Maitlan Brown.
They’ll play a series of three 20-over matches and three 50-over matches, and the concurrent nature of the tours is an added bonus for both senior teams, who have back-up players available if required.
Australia A squad: Georgia Redmayne (c), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Phoebe Litchfield, Katie Mack, Courtney Sippel, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Georgia Voll, Amanda-Jade Wellington
England A squad: Emily Arlott, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Alice Davidson-Richards, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Eve Jones, Beth Langston, Emma Lamb, Bryony Smith, Ellie Threlkeld, Issy Wong
Jan 20: First T20, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
Jan 21: Second T20, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
Jan 23: Third T20, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
Jan 28: First OD, Philip Oval, Canberra
Jan 30: Second OD, Philip Oval, Canberra
Feb 2: Third OD, Philip Oval, Canberra