Barely a week after saying the women’s game would be given equal importance, the England and Wales Cricket Board are prioritising the men’s game it seems.
“England hope to play six Tests this summer at only two venues, in a new proposed schedule for the season that could exclude all county and women’s cricket,” The Daily Mail reported on Sunday (May 3). The plan is for England men to host a three-match Test series each against West Indies and Pakistan behind closed doors beginning in July.
However, England women’s limited overs series against India scheduled for July-August, looks like it will be suspended. All women’s domestic matches are expected to meet the same fate.
ALSO READ: The Hundred postponed to 2021
With the launch of The Hundred competition postponed to 2021 due to the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic, the women’s domestic game in England received a major jolt. The tournament was meant to be the only competitive women’s domestic tournament in the country with the one-day and T20 tournaments having been disbanded after the 2019-20 season.
Shortly after the announcement was made, Yorkshire leg-spinner Katie Levick took to social media to clearly explain what a big impact the decision – however logical – would have on the domestic players in the country.
Just had to get a quick note on The Hundred off my chest👇🏼
Hopefully here’s to 2021. pic.twitter.com/gDZkYcgHK8
— Katie Levick (@Katie_Lev) April 30, 2020
Former England skipper Charlotte Edwards told BBC World Service, “A lot of people are out of work. A lot of players were hoping to have contracts for the Hundred, which were quite lucrative for some of them, and everyone’s going to miss out which is so unfortunate and at such an important time for women’s cricket.”
Ebony Rainford-Brent, former England international and Director of Surrey Cricket, mentioned the logistical advantages women’s cricket has over the men’s game. The 36-year-old went on to talk about the need to capitalise on the momentum gained over the last couple of years – especially during the T20 World Cup in Australia.
While the lack of women’s cricket would no doubt be a huge blow to the players, the ECB seem satisfied that they will “at least be able to fulfil a chunk of the broadcast deal that keeps the sport afloat in this country if they can rescue the international programme for a TV and radio audience,” The Daily Mail wrote.