Pressure on Australia to host five-day women’s Test

England captain Heather Knight has put the heat on Cricket Australia to schedule a five-day Test for their next Ashes tour, desperate for the era of four-day internationals to end.

Australia’s 89-run win over England in Nottingham snapped a run of six straight draws in women’s Tests dating back to 2017.

It coincided with the match being the first five-day Test for women since 1992, with all matches since then having been scheduled for no more than four days.

A world record of 22,203 fans attended the contest at Trent Bridge, while the 3.67 run-rate was the highest ever for a women’s Test and 40 wickets were taken for only the second time since 1995.

Knight has long been a proponent of five-day Tests, having rallied administrators in England to make the change.

Asked if all Test matches, including the 2024-25 Ashes clash in Australia, should now be five-day games, Knight said: “I think so.

“The fact is we have been able to see Tammy get 200, Sutherland get a hundred batting at No.8, Sophie Ecclestone get two five-wicket hauls and Ash get an eight-wicket haul.

“They are really special performances we might not have seen if it wasn’t over five days.

“It means if you play four, you really have to try and manufacture a result. I don’t think the game gets the credit it deserves if that happens.

“I would love to see five days but that’s above my head.”

Australia will host South Africa in a Test next February in Perth, but that is so far only scheduled for four days.

CA’s head of operations Peter Roach said last year that it would not alter its plan for four-day Tests, but that a fifth day could be added in reserve for bad weather.

“We acknowledge that Boards can select four or five days for women’s Test matches,” Roach said last September.

“At this stage we will continue with four-day Test matches in Australia but may consider a reserve fifth day for Tests significantly affected by the weather.”

Australia captain Alyssa Healy is also not entirely sold on the five-day argument, adamant results can still be achieved within four.

“We’ve also had results in a four-day Test match before so I’m not going to sit here and say five days is the way forward,” Healy said after the Trent Bridge win.

“But I will say if there is a threat of rain, having that reserve day is not such a bad thing.

“We saw it in the Test Championship final for the men they had a reserved six day for the Test match.”


Scott Bailey
(Australian Associated Press)


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