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If we're going to play Test cricket, then it has to be over five days: Beaumont

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Canberra, Jan 26 (IANS) England opener Tammy Beaumont said on Wednesday that if they are going to play Test cricket, then it has to be played over five days. She added that it is really hard for the women cricketers to say that they want to be the best in Test cricket as many matches aren’t played in the longest format of the game.

“I do see both sides – white-ball women’s cricket is marketable now and everything is about getting it on TV. That’s where a lot of our investment comes from, and we really need it. But at the same time, if we’re going to play Test cricket, then it has to be over five days,” wrote Tammy in her column for The Cricketer ahead of women’s Ashes Test starting from Thursday.

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Tammy felt playing red-ball cricket on a regular basis at the regional level will help England’s women cricketers. “I do think playing some red-ball cricket at regional level would help – I think that’s definitely something for the future. These girls are full-time professionals now, so there’s no reason why there couldn’t be a three-day game midweek.”

“That would prevent players from coming into a Test environment without knowing what to do in a red-ball scenario. I think that’s why Sophia Dunkley’s half-century on debut was so impressive last summer – she did that without any real foundation in red-ball cricket.”

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She has also called for other nations to take women’s Test cricket seriously. “I also think it’s important that other nations try to play some Test cricket. India are really keen for more – South Africa played against them a few years ago. Other teams have to take on that mantle, getting more girls playing the longest format and trying to own that space. I think we should be including a Test each summer.”

The 30-year-old, who was recently named as the ICC women’s T20I cricketer of the year, highlighted the challenges to excel in Test cricket. “You don’t judge yourself as much on what you do in Test cricket as in other formats. My Test career – 198 runs in five games – spans nine years, and I’ve only missed two in that time. In roughly the same period, I’ve played almost 100 T20Is. So, you know more about the white-ball game, how you play it and how you want to be judged at the end of your career than with Test cricket.”

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“Yes, we played two Tests this year, but they are so rare. You’re having to pick up from where you left off each time but without developing as a player. It’s really hard to say you want to be the best Test player in the world when there really aren’t that many being played.”

Tammy signed off by saying that the pre-series camp in Oman has given some confidence to the England Test side. “We normally have a three-day warmup game, and that’s where you have to do all your learning. At times, we probably go too far the other way, trying to survive and not get out instead of fully appreciating the art of Test cricket and some of the nuances in the tactics of how to prize a wicket out.”

“It is tough – you do have to wing it most of the time, but having had that game last summer and having trained for red-ball cricket in Oman on our winter camp, we’re confident.”



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