27 July, 2021

Is Women's Test Cricket ICC's Unwanted Baby? Why This Indifference

The abysmal numbers suggest that women's Test cricket is dying. This year, only one Test has been played as part of the Ashes series. India have no plans to play one

Lofty Drives
Mithali Raj drives during a Test between India and England in High Wycombe, England, in 2014
Photograph by Getty Images
Is Women's Test Cricket ICC's Unwanted Baby? Why This Indifference

Rarely have beginnings deemed so propitious proved so transient, when hope beckoned for so many, then gave up hope. When India’s T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, dazzling left-handed batter Smriti Mandhana and their seven other teammates made Test debut in the one-off match against South Africa in 2014 in Mysore, little did they know that it would turn out to be their last Test as well. For South Africa, all ele­ven players made their debut. The two players with Test experience were India captain Mith­ali Raj and speedster Jhulan Goswami.

Neither India nor South Africa have played ano­ther Test since; there is no plan for one too. So, barring a sudden change of heart by administrators, the match at the Gangothri Glades Ground in November 2014 could go down as the last one to be played by India—and most probably by South Africa as well.

Women’s Test cricket, which began way back in 1934, had slipped into coma many years ago in most major countries. These numbers prove its moribund state: Sri Lanka have played a solitary Test in their entire...

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