CommBank Series v India - Test
More Tests please, but state structure needed: Haynes
Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes believes multi-day domestic cricket is vital to allow female players the best chance to thrive at Test level
5 July 2021, 03:18 PM AEST
Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes has welcomed a trend towards more regular women’s Test cricket but believes a domestic multi-day competition must also be introduced if players are to thrive in the longest format of the game.
Australia will play India in a day-night Test at the WACA Ground starting September 30, the first women’s Test between the nations in 15 years, before taking on England during the multi-format Ashes in January.
Overseas, England and India have just met in their first women’s Test in seven years, and recent reports emerging from the United Kingdom have suggested the England and Wales Cricket Board is keen to host a red-ball encounter against South Africa in 2022.
These developments have been welcomed by top players starved of multi-day cricket – Australia have played just five Tests in the last 10 years – but Haynes believes thought needs to be put into creating a domestic structure to support the format.
"The difficult thing at the moment is we don’t play any long-form cricket (domestically) so it’s a real baptism of fire when your first opportunity to play that format is at the international," Haynes said on Monday, as tickets went on sale for Australia’s international summer of cricket.
"I think it’s a real discussion point for administrators to try and address … if they’re committed (to playing Tests) they should be allowing players to play that four-day format (domestically) to replicate what you need to do at the next level."
Australia’s domestic players are classed as semi-professional, but currently play far less state cricket than their male counterparts, with the 50-over domestic season comprising eight matches per team.
Players have been pushing for the Women’s National Cricket League to be expanded to a full home-and-away season, while multi-day women’s state cricket has not been played in Australia since the 1990s.
However, Australia remain in an enviable position compared to the majority of their overseas counterparts; England currently hand out 41 professional domestic contracts to female players across eight teams, while no other country has a professional structure beneath their national team.
While Haynes would like to see more teams embrace the multi-format system, comprising one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is, she said domestic competitions would be vital for it to succeed.
"If you look at the landscape of international cricket at the moment, there’s only two countries in the world that have anything that remotely looks like a semi-professional domestic set-up," Haynes said.
"It really is a discussion point and something that all nations need to come to an understanding that if Test cricket is the way forward, there needs to be a commitment not just at international level but domestically as well … I do think there needs to be a good robust plan around how it is integrated into the wider cricket landscape."
At present, Australia’s next Test after this summer is likely to be during the 2023 Ashes in the United Kingdom, although the next edition of the women’s ICC Future Tours Programme has yet to be released.
Haynes said she would welcome the opportunity to meet South Africa in a Test match, either at home or overseas.
"We’ve seen in the women’s game the integration of multi-format series ... it’s been a great way to get us to play Test match cricket," she said.
"To play South Africa in a Test match would be awesome, not only in Australia but also in their country where we haven’t played a lot of cricket."
Tickets for the 2021-22 season will go on sale here on Monday July 5 from 2pm AEST.
2021-22 Women's International Season
Commonwealth Bank Women's Series v India
Sep 19: First ODI, North Sydney Oval (D/N)
Sep 22: Second ODI, Junction Oval
Sep 24: Third ODI, Junction Oval
Sep 30 – Oct 3: Test match, WACA Ground (D/N)
Oct 7: First T20, North Sydney Oval
Oct 9: Second T20, North Sydney Oval
Oct 11: Third T20, North Sydney Oval
Commonwealth Bank Women's Ashes v England
Jan 27-30: Test match, Manuka Oval
Feb 4: First T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 6: Second T20, North Sydney Oval
Feb 10: Third T20, Adelaide Oval
Feb 13: First ODI, Adelaide Oval
Feb 16: Second ODI, Junction Oval
Feb 19: Third ODI, Junction Oval