Belinda Clark and Ian Bishop urge ICC to focus on white-ball women’s cricket but not lose their sights of Test cricket

Recently, ICC granted Test status to three women’s teams, i.e, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.
Indian women team
Indian women team (Photo Credit The Economic time)

Belinda Clark and Ian Bishop have opined that Women cricket’s focus should be on limited overs formats until 10-15 teams start playing T20 cricket but the Test format should not be forgotten. The two talked intensively about the ways in which women’s cricket should be developed.

Recently, ICC granted Test status to three women’s teams, i.e, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. The three teams will now join teams like India, Australia, England, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, who already hold the Test status.

Clarke noted that the recent developments in the women’s game has happened on the back of white-ball cricket. She expressed that the focus should be on developing white-ball cricket. She said once there are 10 or 15 teams playing high-quality T20 cricket, then the focus can be done on the red-ball cricket.

“I think the focus for the women’s game needs to continue on the shorter format to 20 and 50 over,” former Australia skipper Clark said while speaking at a virtual press conference organised to launch 100% Cricket Future Leaders Programme — a mentorship programme for all female future leaders in the game.

“If our objective is to spread the game globally, and grow depths in the teams that are completely competing internationally, you need a focus and that needs to be directed at certain formats,” she said. Clark pointed that if this strategy is not followed then a lot of money will be used for no reason.

Bishop further made a point that red-ball women’s cricket should be played simultaneously, but stressed upon the developments needed in the white-ball game.

“It’s quite correct that the focus is where it needs to be most but I do know, several young women who yearn to play a Test match. Unfortunately, they’ve come up at a time where the women don’t really play Test match cricket in most of the nations,” Bishop said.

Women’s Test matches are rarely played. Recently BCCI announced that India will play England in a one-off Test later this year in England. India’s women played a Test way back in 2014 while England haven’t played one since 2019 Ashes in Australia.

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