The women's Ashes will break away from the men's series while there will also be firsts against Bangladesh and Ireland as women's Future Tours Program fleshed out
India tour, South Africa Test highlight women's FTP
An historic first Test match against South Africa and the first away Test against India in 39 years are highlights of the women’s Future Tours Program (FTP) cycle, while the women’s Ashes are set break from the same rotation as the men to stand alone.
Women's cricket operates on a different international cycle to the men's game and is already in the midst of the 2022-25 Women’s Championship, with the new document setting out international obligations until mid-2026.
Announced today by the ICC, January and early February have been designated as the marquee battleground for Australia's women to host international series, starting with Pakistan this summer, with multi-format series against South Africa, England and India to follow in subsequent years.
Australia have 11 bilateral contests over the next three years in the FTP, in addition to three ICC tournaments.
The home-and-away matchups for the current Women’s Championship were previously announced back in May with the FTP fleshing out the details of when these tours will take place, as well as defining windows for the now-annual ICC tournaments.
The women's FTP now also has clear windows for domestic T20 tournaments baked in – with the Weber WBBL maintaining its spot in October-November. There are now windows in the international caldendar for the Hundred in England in August, and a window has been created in February-March in anticipation of the launch of a women's IPL.
After their thrilling battles in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match this month and the T20 World Cup final in 2020, Australia is set to see plenty more of India over the coming years with multi-format series at home and abroad.
The Women's Championship sees the top 10 women’s teams involved in a round-robin ODI competition, each playing four home and four away series, across a three-year period in pursuit of automatic qualification for the 2025 World Cup.
This is the first time it will feature 10 teams, after Ireland and Bangladesh – who Australia will both meet away – were added to the mix.
For Australia, it begins in January when they host Pakistan in three one-dayers and three T20Is, ahead of the 2023 T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Next June and July Australia’s women will travel to the United Kingdom alongside the men for the multi-format Ashes.
That Ashes series will run in conjunction with the men's tour of the UK, but when England’s women next travel to Australia for the Ashes it will be in the summer of 2024-25, a summer ahead of the next visit by England's men's Test team.
Peter Roach, Cricket Australia’s Head of Cricket Operations and Scheduling, said a standalone women’s Ashes in 2025 was a terrific outcome was a terrific outcome for Australian cricket.
“We recognise our responsibilities to the game globally and the positive impact we can have on emerging markets and feel this schedule also supports those goals," he said.
“Importantly, most of our home content will remain in our preferred window of January and February and ensures a clear window for Australian cricketers to participate in the WBBL.
“We have seen the benefits, in both skill development and earning capacity, that come from participation in the WBBL and the Hundred and it was a shared priority to ensure these opportunities continue for players."
Excitingly, Australia will travel to India for a multi-format series in the summer of 2023-24, playing a Test, three ODIs and three T20Is.
It will be the first Test Australia's women's side have played on Indian soil since 1984, when India hosted a four-Test series against an Aussie side captained by Jill Kennare, who coincidentally turns 66 today.
When the current side return from that trip, they will host their first ever women’s Test against South Africa as part of another multi-format series in January-February 2024, also with three ODIs and three T20s.
Australia’s first ever ODI series against Ireland will be played in July 2023 following the Ashes, while their first bilateral ODI and T20I tour to Bangladesh will be staged in March 2024.
Sri Lanka are the only team Australia will not play a bilateral series against in the next cycle.
Amongst the bilateral commitments, there are now annual ICC events for women, and the global administrative body last month confirmed the hosts for every women's white-ball tournament to be played up until 2027.
South Africa, as already agreed, will host the next women's T20 World Cup in February 2023, and the event will then be hosted by Bangladesh in September-October 2024.
India will stage the next 50-over women's World Cup in September-October 2025, the last ICC event to feature in the published FTP.
Beyond that, however, England will host the women's T20 World Cup in mid-2026, and the inaugural Women's T20 Champions Cup is slated for Sri Lanka – subject to that nation qualifying for the new six-team tournament – in February 2027.
Australia will defend their inaugural Commonwealth Games gold medal on home soil when Victoria hosts the next games in 2026, with women's cricket already confirmed to be played at the event following its debut in Birmingham.
Australia's women's players will also help to grow the game in developing markets, although risks of the world's best team being involved in a mismatch means those tours are more likely to be undertaken by under-19 or Australia A outfits and not included in the FTP.
Australia Women's FTP
✈ December: Five T20s tour of India
January: Three ODIs* v Pakistan (Brisbane, Sydney) and three T20s v Pakistan (Sydney, Hobart, Canberra)
✈ February: T20 World Cup – South Africa
✈ June-July: Multi-format Ashes series in England. One Test, three ODIs* and three T20s
✈ July: Three ODIs* tour of Ireland
September-October: Three ODIs* and three T20s v West Indies
✈ December-January: Multi-format series in India: one Test, three ODIs and three T20s
January-February: Multi-format series v South Africa: one Test, three ODIs* and three T20s
✈ March: three ODIs* and three T20s tour of Bangladesh
✈ September-October: T20 World Cup – Bangladesh
December: Three ODIs* v India. ✈ Three ODIs* tour of New Zealand
January-February: Multi-format Ashes series against England. One Test, three ODIs and three T20s
✈ March: Three T20 tour of New Zealand
✈ September-October: ODI World Cup – India
January-February: Multi-format series v India: one Test, three ODIs and three T20s
February-March: Commonwealth Games – Victoria
✈ indicates series played outside Australia
* indicates ICC Women's Championship ODIs