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The case for Womens Test matches

Women should be given more opportunities to play Test Cricket. I discovered and became a fan of cricket during the men’s 2019 Ashes and since then I've grown to love the game and it has become one of my favourite sports to watch and follow. During that time I've heard over and over again that test cricket is the pinnacle of cricket and the purest form, and that other forms do not compare to test cricket. This means that according to most cricket fans women are practically speaking aren't able to play the highest form of the game and that is simply unacceptable. In the past 10 years only 10 women's test matches have been played and only four nations have played a test during that time: Australia, England, India, and South Africa.

One reason women must play test cricket regularly is you can't be what you can't see. Many female athletes say that when they were growing up they didn't even know their country had a national sports team for women. Nowadays, thanks to the women playing regular international fixtures which are televised little girls can grow up knowing they can play cricket for a living and even represent their country at the highest level. If test cricket really is the pinnacle of cricket then little girls have just as much of a right to dream about reaching that as little boys do. Playing regular tests will allow women to play the pinnacle of cricket and will show little girls around the world that being a girl doesn't mean that you can't reach the highest level.

Ellyse Perry and Katherine Brunt will go down as two of the greatest to have ever played cricket and yet they've only played 24 tests between them. That's less tests in their career than the England Men’s team played just in 2021(England played 15 test matches). Jimmy Anderson made his test debut 15 months before Katherine Brunt and he has played 169 tests in his career compared to Brunt’s 14 test matches. Peter Siddle made his test debut seven months after Ellyse Perry and yet he has played in 67 test matches whilst Perry has only played 10 tests. Some of the greatest cricketers are being denied the opportunities to show their abilities in the purest form of the game as most people call it and show that they truly are some of the greatest of all time just because they are women.

Katey Martin is the only cricketer on the New Zealand women’s cricket team to have ever played a test playing in her first and only test match in 2003 which was the last time that the New Zealand women’s cricket team have played a test match. This means players like Sophie Devine and Amy Satterthwaite who are elite cricketers have never played a test match just because they are women and their country has not played a women’s test in 19 years.

In 2022 we talk about providing equality of opportunity for female athletes and women’s sports and say that women’s sports should be treated as an equal counterpart to men’s. If we truly believe that to be the case then we need to demand that more women’s tests are played and that more nations who are eligible to have a women's test cricket schedule and play women’s tests. Anything else and we are saying that women don't have the right to achieve their dreams and reach the pinnacle of their sport.

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