Australian captain Meg Lanning says the pathway is open for smaller nations to play Test cricket, provided the balance is right, while also calling for more 50-over cricket at a domestic level.
It follows a thrilling end to the women's Ashes in Canberra, where the Aussies and England drew in a cliffhanger that came down to the last ball of the match.
"I think there are a lot of positives that could come out of it - I think the likes of South Africa, New Zealand, they could certainly play in Test matches as well so that will grow over time," Lanning told reporters on Wednesday.
"A couple of years ago they wouldn't have said that they're looking at [playing Test matches]... we still need to make sure that cricket around the world is moving forward, and that we're not leaving nations behind.
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"I think the international women's championship, the fact there's 10 teams in that now, that will certainly help in terms of bringing those smaller nations or lower nations up and allow them to play cricket, which I think is the most important thing.
"I think we can get the balance right, because I think if we can get some more Test matches up between the bigger nations, if you want to call it that, that's going to grow the game as well."
Lanning also said that four days is enough for women's Test matches, provided the conditions and wickets remain in good condition.
There's been calls for five-day matches to mirror the men's format.
"I think the difficult part is that the last few Test matches that I've played in, weather's played a big role," she said.
"I think four days is enough if we don't get rain, which has proved to be quite difficult."
She also acknowledged that to raise the standard of international cricket, the first-class scene needed to be more accommodating - including a shorter Big Bash season and a longer WNCL schedule.
"It can be a bit long at times," she said.
"I understand there's so much more to it than what I understand but we want the WBBL to be the premium product and really high quality so I think perhaps if it was a touch shorter, with perhaps 10 games, that's something I think would be really effective."
"That's a really important next step for the women's game," she said in regards to the 50-over competition's possible expansion.
"It's the pathway, it's the breeding ground for young cricketers to go out there and play and learn their craft."
Lanning will lead the Aussies out tomorrow in the first of three Ashes one-dayers, after an incredible Test match draw kept the series hanging in the balance.
"There was a lot of discussion, particularly on Sunday night, just reflecting what had happened, particularly in that last hour," she said of that extraordinary match.
"I think the overwhelming feeling was that it was a pretty resilient fightback from the group to get back into a position to draw the Test and we could have won it at the end there.
"Both sides fought extremely hard and it turned out to be one of the best Test matches ever."
That match is behind them though, Lanning saying the squad had flipped to 'one-day mode'.
Australia lead 6-4 in the multi-format series, claiming victory in the only T20 game that wasn't washed out.
The Aussies need one win and one draw from the three matches to be guaranteed of winning the series, while two draws would ensure they retain the Ashes.
England need either two wins and a draw or three wins to win the series for the first time since 2013–14.
"We want a contest, we want really competitive cricket and that's what it's been throughout the series so far," Lanning said.
"Both sides pretty much need to win, and that's certainly the mindset we're going out there with."
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Title: Captain calls for reform after Ashes thriller
Sourced From: wwos.nine.com.au/cricket/ashes-2022-meg-lanning-backs-more-test-cricket-bigger-wncl-calendar/81cbb2ca-7579-4c04-a9a6-53363603ec28
Published Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2022 04:05:49 +0000