While I understand (and believe it or not appreciate) the benefits that have accrued to women's cricket from coming under the auspices of the ICC, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that a price is being paid in England in terms of a lack of strategy for the women's game.
The recent announcements in Australia remind us that it doesn't have to be this way; but the actual details of the ECB's review aren't making me feel very optimistic.
A telling paragraph from the report [PDF] is this one:
[We will provide] increased employment opportunities/ grants in order that England Women’s cricketers can be dedicated to England preparation in the three months prior to the 2017 Women’s World Cup. [My emphasis.]Compare and contrast this with the golden retainers (note - retainers - not "employment opportunities") handed to the Southern Stars four years prior to the 2017 World Cup.
The dice are starting to feel rather loaded against our girls... and the ECB don't seem to care.