GUAV

News Sports

Heather Knight hopes Test cricket ‘becomes the norm’ in women’s game as England face India in June

4 min read
Advertisement

England captain Heather Knight wants women’s Test matches to become regular part of series around the world; England will host India in a Test match at Bristol in June; skipper not disappointed her side are not playing at Lord’s or other bigger venues this summer

England Women captain Heather Knight is looking forward to the first Test match against India in almost seven years

Heather Knight hopes England’s Test match at home to India this summer can lead to red-ball fixtures becoming a staple of the women’s game around the world.

England play a solitary Test match against Australia during Ashes series but have not played any other side in the longest form since a defeat to India in 2014, while India have gone over six years without a Test.

Knight’s side will face India in Bristol from June 16-19 as they begin a summer programme which also includes white-ball series against both the Asian side and New Zealand.

    England Women to begin summer schedule with India TestWomen’s cricket homepage

England Women drew their previous Test match, against Australia during the 2019 Ashes England Women drew their previous Test match, against Australia during the 2019 Ashes

“Realistically, T20 is the format that is going to grow the women’s game around the world but it is really important we keep Test cricket going,” said England captain Knight, who scored 157 in a Test against Australia in 2013 and then two half-centuries when the sides met in 2017.

“I’d love to keep playing Test cricket and I’d love to see the multi-format series we have for The Ashes – a Test match, three ODI and three T20s – as the norm going forward. I’d love to play a Test match in India, as well. I think it would be a massive challenge.

“One of my proudest moments in an England shirt is scoring a Test century and that speaks for the way Test cricket is seen.”

On this summer’s red-ball game, Knight added: “It’s going to be a really big occasion. I think it is a great addition.

Knight's England team will play India in a Test match in Bristol from June 16-19 Knight’s England team will play India in a Test match in Bristol from June 16-19

“To know we have got two Test matches in nine months – the other in the Ashes – is really nice because usually it is one every two years.

“I don’t play much Test cricket but when I do, and the girls do, we really enjoy it, it is definitely rated highly among the players. We enjoy the challenge of doing something we don’t do very often.”

England’s summer schedule is spread across nine venues – Bristol, Taunton, Worcester, Northampton, Hove, Chelmsford, Leicester, Derby and Canterbury.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Lord’s – where Knight’s side beat India in front of a sold-out crowd in July 2017 to win the 50-over World Cup – is absent from that list, as are some of the county’s other larger grounds.

Knight says England Women should focus on selling out smaller grounds rather than playing at bigger ones Knight says England Women should focus on selling out smaller grounds rather than playing at bigger ones

Knight, who will play at the Home of Cricket for London Spirit during The Hundred, said: “I’d love to play at Lord’s but I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed [not to be playing there for England this summer].

“I think the women’s game works really well at smaller venues. You have big crowds in small venues that really create an atmosphere.

“Lord’s in 2017 and the MCG in 2020 [where 86,174 fans, a record attendance for a women’s cricket match, watched Australia face India in the T20 World Cup final] showed what can be done when the game is properly marketed and advertised and there is a story that people follow throughout the competition.

“But if Australia played at the MCG every week they wouldn’t sell it out. It is an ambition and should be worked towards but I think us consistently selling out the smaller venues in England should be a target first before we go to bigger grounds.”

Ben Stokes has called for a women's IPL to be established, in line with the men's competition Ben Stokes has called for a women’s IPL to be established, in line with the men’s competition

Knight also gave her backing for a women’s edition of the Indian Premier League, something England all-rounder Ben Stokes recently championed.

Knight added: “I think it was awesome to see Stokesy talk about the Women’s IPL. The more allies we have in women’s cricket really helps to change perceptions.

“It was great for Ben to say that and I totally agree. I think it would be amazing for the women’s game to have an IPL.

“You have seen in Australia with the Big Bash – and hopefully in England with The Hundred – that having men’s and women’s competitions alongside each other is really positive for the women’s game and really helps to progress things.”

Watch England Women’s matches with India and New Zealand, plus every game from The Hundred, live on Sky Sports this summer. The men’s IPL continues throughout April and May on Sky Sports.

Source

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *