England v India: Why are there so few women’s Tests and how do the players prepare?

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Test cricket is considered the pinnacle of the game – so why do women play so few?

England are one of the lucky sides, so to speak. They usually play one Test every two years, against Australia as part of the Women’s Ashes.

This summer they will host a Test against India. The two sides have not met in the format since 2014, when India won by six wickets, and India have played just one Test since then.

The interest is there. The 2014 Test at Wormsley was watched by a large crowd, while the 16,000-capacity North Sydney Oval was 80% full for the day-night Ashes Test in 2017.

So why are there so few women’s Tests? Do players not want to play them? And how do you go about preparing for a one-off match?

Do players want to play?
Since 2007, only four countries have played Test cricket, with England and Australia the only ones to play with any regularity.

West Indies have not played one since 2004, while Sri Lanka’s sole Test came against Pakistan in 1998.

All-rounder Katherine Brunt is one of England’s most experienced Test cricketers but even she has only played 12 matches over 15 years.

“We’ve all grown up playing cricket, watching all three formats, and it feels a bit weird and wrong that we, as women, don’t play that format of the game,” she told BBC Sport.


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