England Women's Cricket vs. Australia: Tight Ashes Series Anticipated

Ben Snowball@@BenSnowballContributor IAugust 11, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25:  (L-R) Rene Farrell, Alex Blackwell and Sarah Elliott of Australia pose with the Ashes trophy after winning the match during day four of the Women's CBA Test match between Australia and England at Bankstown Oval on January 25, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Matt King/Getty Images

Can’t get enough of the Ashes this summer? Don’t worry, there’s more.

The men have fulfilled their end of the bargain by retaining the famous urn—now it’s the turn of England’s women.

Last time around the Aussies only had to win a solitary Test, but 2013 sees a revamped format that should capture the public’s imagination.

Six points are up for grabs for victory in the one-off Test, with a further two points available for each of the two one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches.

Schedule

Ashes Test: Sunday August 11 to Wednesday August 14, Wormsley

First ODI: Tuesday August 20, Lords

Second ODI: Friday August 23, Sussex

Third ODI: Sunday August 25, Sussex

First T20: Tuesday August 27, Chelmsford

Second T20: Thursday August 29, Southampton

Third T20: Friday August 31, Durham    

England will need to make the most of home advantage given Australia are currently the best side in the world.

The hosts held the Ashes and both limited-overs world titles just over two years ago, but have since relinquished their crowns to the old enemy.

You need to travel back to 1934 for the inaugural series between the women’s sides, although it only formally became the Ashes in 1998 when a bat bearing the players signatures was burnt with the remains encased in a trophy.

As with England's men, in the summer of 2005 England's women wrestled the Ashes from the tourists after years of pain and went one better by then retaining it in Australia three years later—the men lost 5-0.

The hosts include three new faces in their squad. Natasha Farrant, Natalie Sciver and Lauren Winfield impressed sufficiently on their debuts against Pakistan and will have plenty of opportunities to showcase their talent even if they don’t make the Test side.

England’s new head of women’s performance, Paul Shaw, said, as reported by The Telegraph: “Australia come here not only as Ashes holders but as reigning 50-over and 20-over world champions so we are going to have to perform at the top of our game if we are going to regain the Ashes.”

Australia won the 2011 Ashes with a seven-wicket victory over England at the Bankstown Oval, Sydney.

Sarah Elliot, the standout performer that day, is again included in the Australia squad for the Test, as is Meg Lanning who batted solidly throughout the limited over matches that followed.

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