Navi Mumbai, Dec 12 (PTI) India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday welcomed the idea of organising a World Test Championship in women’s Test cricket, but England veteran Tammy Beaumont said it would be unfair to have such a competition when only three countries are playing regularly.
In men’s Test cricket, the ICC’s World Test Championship began with 2019-2021 as the first two-year cycle. It is currently in its third edition. The women’s game, however, does not have any such competition.
There is a huge disparity among women’s teams in terms of playing Test cricket as only England, Australia and India have played in the longest format regularly even though there is a long gap.
“I would love to be a part of the World Test Championship but that is for the boards and the ICC to decide,” Mandhana told the media ahead of India’s training session here on Tuesday.
“Having watched a lot of men’s Test cricket and championships that would be really exciting to be a part of something of that sort. But as I said, that would be their (administrators’) decision,” she added.
India and England will face-off in a one-off Test starting here on Thursday at the DY Patil Stadium. It will be after two years that the hosts will be playing a Test.
For England, the gap has been of about six months since they last played Tests, taking on Australia in the opening game of the Women’s Ashes which they lost by 89 runs.
The 32-year-old Beaumont, who has featured in eight Tests since her debut 10 years ago, says it is still not the right time for a women’s WTC given the existing disparity in terms of number of matches played.
“I do not think it is quite the right time, if I am honest. At the moment there is only three or four nations that are playing Test match cricket regularly and potentially (there are) only three or four governing bodies that can afford to host women’s Test cricket,” Beaumont said.
The England batter said she does not expect ICC to be investing into any such tournament.
“That will have to be a very big investment from the ICC, I do not think they are probably willing to put into,” she said.
Beaumont advocated the countries to have more matches during a bilateral tour and get other nations like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand playing more women’s Test cricket.
“They are still trying to develop the T20 game across the globe, the way you have seen Thailand and other countries come into T20 cricket. I think that should stay as a focus, however, I would love to see more nations do maybe like a multi-format series like we do in the Ashes,” she said.
“So say, India come over and we do Test match, ODI and T20Is and (get an) overall winner from that. We do that from South Africa and New Zealand and all those teams and build from there.”
“One day, I would love to see a World Test Championship but at the moment I do not think it would be fair when you have India, Australia and England have played a lot of Tests in the last four years but other teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand have not played any Test cricket in the last 15 years,” Beaumont added.
“The imbalance is still there, we need to build it from ground up a little bit longer and definitely have many Tests,” said the England opening batter.