Meg Lanning has become the latest to chip-in on the #WomensAshes points system, arguing that the system over-weighs the Test and that perhaps allocating 3 points* for the ODIs might be the way to go?
Whether or not Lanning meant that just the ODIs should be worth 3 points, or the T20s as well, it is worth bearing in mind that under both scenarios Australia would still have failed to reclaim The Ashes. (An 11-10 victory for England if the T20s were still 2 points; a 12-12 "retain" for England if they were 3.)
One thing we shouldn't lose sight of is that the points system was designed to over-weigh the Test - it was a concession to those who felt that the hallowed traditions of The Ashes were being 'dumbed down' by bringing ODIs and T20s into the equation.
Nevertheless, I have some sympathy with the idea that the current system negatively impacts the competition as a sporting contest, by making it too difficult for the losing team in the Test to come back into it from 6-0 down.
Clearly allocating 3 points to the limited-overs matches doesn't solve the problem; nor does playing the Test at the end, which just incentivizes the team going in ahead to play for a (bore) draw.
So how about this:
Change the emphasis so that points are allocated by series rather than by match - leave the Test, ODIs and T20s all at 6 points each, but allocate ALL 6 points to the winner of each mini-series.
This maintains the primacy of the Test, but means that the other team has to win only 2 of the 3 ODIs to come right back into the contest at 6-all.
Under this system, Australia would have won The Ashes - though perhaps it is debatable whether England would have played quite so badly (even depleted as they were) had the trophy not already been in the bag.
Of course, it isn't perfect - as with the current system, it would still be possible to win The Ashes after just 3 games, leaving a long 'dead rubber' which the losing team could go on to win 4-0; but by putting the emphasis on 'series' rather than 'matches' even this would feel a little fairer.
What Lanning actually said was that two ODIs should carry the same weight as the Test - but whether you reduce the Test to 4 points, or up the ODIs to 3, the difference is the same.