Scott Rollings has been following the women's game for half-a-decade. Here he talks about his passion for the game and outlines why this Ashes summer is a big one.
Enjoying the Ashes summer? I know I am! Whilst I’m sure you’ll all be supporting the men’s team throughout the series, let’s not forget that the England’s women are also competing with Australia for the urn as we speak.
England have come out on top in five of the last six meetings between the two teams in this prestigious series. This Ashes series is sure to be an absolute belter, with some serious talent filling both squads. The teams include the leading run scorer ever in the women’s game, Australia’s youngest ever centurion (male or female), the top three batters in the world rankings and one of the 2014 Wisden Cricketers of the Year, to name but a few. The next few months promise to be a superb showcase of the ever-improving women’s game, contributing to its burgeoning popularity, which is borne out by increased attendances and the backing of Sky TV, who are showing every ball of the Women’s Ashes live in high definition.
This year, like the previous two Women’s Ashes series will be points based. Unlike the men, the women play three ODIs, three T20 matches and a single Test. The points system is very simple; the Test match is worth four points and the ODIs/T20s are worth two points each. This format is ideal for the up-and-coming women’s game. It gives the players a chance to prove that their skills, commitment and dedication are just as high as the men’s across all formats of the game.
The series plays out as follows:
21st July- ODI- Taunton
23rd July- ODI- Bristol
26th July- ODI- Worcester
11th-14th August- Test- Canterbury
26th August- T20- Chelmsford
28th August- T20- Brighton and Hove
31st August- T20- Cardiff
I have only been following the women’s game for five or six years, but it is clear to see how much the standards and the popularity have increased and continue to do so.
England’s women definitely made me sit up and pay attention from the first time I watched them. It was Beth Morgan and Lydia Greenway sweeping, reverse sweeping and ramping the Australian attack. I was fascinated by how well they could control the power and placement playing such a difficult shot.
Also, the guts on show; I’ll always remember Beth Morgan attempting a ramp shot and getting hit in the grill, but then, the very next ball, she went down on one knee and reverse swept the ball for four.
Watching England win that game immediately had me hooked. Seeing how much the win meant to the players and background staff and seeing the camaraderie amongst everyone was incredible. The more women’s cricket I’ve watched, the more obvious it’s become that there are no ‘politics’ involved, everyone is spurring on everyone else.
There are no prima donnas; it’s all about the team as a whole. After a short time of watching games (not just England), it was clear to me that there are some immensely talented cricketers playing the women’s game. I know there are a lot of people out there who say that the women’s game is boring and the standard isn’t as good, but I would argue with them until my last breath.
A great way to prove these people wrong is to just show them a few stats (stats don’t lie). Deandra Dotting of the West Indies scored an international 100 off only 38 balls. Now, what cricket fan could say that they wouldn’t want to watch that?
The Women’s Ashes come to the BrightonandHoveJobs.com County Ground on 28th August. Buy your Ashes tickets now.