Monday, 2 September 2013

Women's Ashes - Play The Test At The End?

ECB Head Honcho (to give his official title) Giles Clarke, and his Aussie counterpart Wally Edwards are, according to The Guardian, in agreement that the multi-format Women's Ashes series is here to stay, but needs some tweaking:
Clarke believes the multi-format system may need some tinkering, having agreed with his Australia counterpart, Wally Edwards, that the single Test... should be played after the one-day matches to avoid the negative tactics that led to a stalemate at Wormsley.
Would playing the Test at the end of the series counteract the temptation to play for a draw?

I'm skeptical!

It obviously would on one side - i.e. whichever side had the disadvantage going into the Test would be desperate for victory. But the other side of that coin is that the team with the advantage would probably go into the Test with the (quite rational) intention of just killing the game completely; and they'd likely succeed too!

Indeed, we have seen this before, in past 'One Test' Women's Ashes series, where the holders, knowing that a draw was all they needed to retain the trophy, played for exactly that - smothering the contest beneath a slow blanket of negativity.

The formula for the multi-format series needs tweaking - I think almost everyone agrees that. I'm just not sure that this is the tweak we need!

UPDATE: Thanks to David Millson for pointing out in comments that I've likely misunderstood here - I took "one-day matches" to mean all the limited-overs games (i.e. the ODIs plus the T20s) but as David points out, it seems more likely that Clarke was referring to just the ODIs and hence meaning to play the Test 'between the ODIs and the T20s' which certainly does make a lot more sense!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think he means at the end, but between the ODIs and T20s. This would still leave an incentive for the team in the lead, because a victory in the Test would give them the series, while also giving a great incentive to the other side of swinging the series their way. The only situation in which a draw would be sufficient for one side would be if the team holding the Ashes won the ODIs 3-0.