ICC Women's ODI World Cup 2022
Exciting initiatives to help Australia prepare for Cup tilt
Visits from India and England and the enticing prospect of Australia v Australia A will help Australia finetune for the 2022 tournament
6 April 2021, 02:11 PM AEST
Australia captain Meg Lanning is adamant her side will have more than adequate preparation for next year’s 50-over World Cup in New Zealand, despite a relative brevity of Women’s ODIs scheduled on the cricket calendar.
And that preparation potentially includes a pair of exciting initiatives: The upcoming ‘Hundred’ competition in the UK, and an Australia v Australia A series later this year in Brisbane.
After Australia’s women celebrated a record-breaking 22nd consecutive ODI victory on Sunday, one of the more impressive aspects of the streak was the consistency they maintained across the 1,119 days it took to achieve the feat.
But that longevity also served to highlight just how little one-day cricket the team had played.
By comparison, Ricky Ponting’s team of 2003 took just 133 days to rack up 21 straight wins.
Australia’s women (and women’s teams globally) already play less international cricket than their male counterparts, and the gap between one-day matches stretched further still last year due to COVID-19, which resulted in an ODI series against South Africa being cancelled and another against India postponed.
Their schedule has also favoured more T20 Internationals across that period (43 in total), with two T20 World Cups played in the two years prior to the pandemic.
Australia have however played two limited-overs series since the onset of COVID-19 – the home series against New Zealand in Brisbane at the start of the summer and their current return trip across the Tasman.
Speaking on Tuesday, Lanning pointed out that her side has in fact been fortunate in contrast to other national women’s teams, with more international women’s cricket remaining the broader objective.
"COVID has restricted the ability of some nations to play cricket, but we’ve been lucky we’ve been able to get some series in," she said.
"The next 12 months is extremely busy, we’ve got a lot of cricket coming up but it’s just getting games into teams around the world as well which is really important.
"Hopefully moving forward that comes back (globally) and (teams like) Sri Lanka can continue to play because we need them to be strong for the world game."
After this New Zealand tour, Australia will not play again until September but will host two of their strongest rivals for that World Cup title – India and England – in the 2021-22 home summer.
At least three ODIs and three T20Is are due to be played against India in September, ahead of the seventh edition of the Rebel WBBL and 50-over domestic Women’s National Cricket League.
The multi-format Ashes, featuring three ODIs, three T20Is and a Test, will also be held before Australia head to New Zealand for the World Cup.
The majority of the Australian contracted players will also spend at least six weeks in the United Kingdom across July and August for the inaugural edition of The Hundred, while both Mott and national selector Shawn Flegler have shared their desire to play a series of Australia v Australia A matches in Brisbane during the winter.
That idea would pit 25-30 of the Australia’s top players against one another and would provide valuable opportunities for those on the outskirts outside of the top contracted group.
"It’s a challenge with international travel but ideally we’ll get that series against India in September, but something that’s exciting to everyone is we’re going to try and bring back that Australia v Australia A concept up in Brisbane," Mott told SEN radio on Tuesday.
"If state borders allow it, we’ll get all of our best players up there and play a series there to give our players on the fringes a chance to play against the best."
CommBank tour of New Zealand 2021
Australia ODI & T20I Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck
New Zealand ODI squad: Amy Satterthwaite (capt), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Frances Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin (wk), Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu
1st T20: Australia won by six wickets
2nd T20: New Zealand won by four wickets
3rd T20: Play abandoned due to rain
1st ODI: Australia won by six wickets
All matches will be shown live in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo