Women's Ashes to feature day-night Test
England's women will take on Australia in their first day-night Test match, as part of the 2017-18 Ashes schedule that has today been confirmed by the ECB and Cricket Australia.
The series, which will take place during the build-up to the men's Ashes in October and November, will once again feature three ODIs, three T20s and the one-off Test, in a continuation of the successful points-based system that has been utilised since 2013.
Australia are the current holders of the women's Ashes, having reclaimed the trophy on English soil in 2015. England did, however, emerge victorious on their last tour of Australia in 2013-14, thanks in no small part to the four points they picked up in a thrilling Test victory in Perth.
This year's Test will be held under lights, using a pink ball, at the North Sydney Oval between November 9 and 12, following the completion of the ODI leg of the tour in October. The Ashes campaign will be concluded with three T20s at Sydney and Canberra between November 17 and 21.
"It's really exciting," Heather Knight, England women's captain, told ESPNcricinfo. "It's been a brilliant concept in men's cricket and so far it has worked in terms of getting a lot more people in and watching, and creating an atmosphere and hype.
"As players we absolutely love playing games under lights, but as a group we don't actually play that many Test matches, so it's a challenge we are relishing."
"We are thrilled to be taking part in the first ever women's day-night Test and hope that this innovation will be exciting for players and spectators alike," said Clare Connor, the ECB's director of women's cricket.
"After we initiated the first ever multi-format Women's Ashes in England in 2013, we are proud to see our sport continue to develop and break new ground.
"We will ensure that the England women's team is fully prepared for the unparalleled challenge of an Ashes series down under, with the sole intention of bringing the trophy back home."
According to James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, the venues have been chosen to give the series as much exposure as possible, at a time when women's cricket in Australia is on an upward curve, following the success of the women's Big Bash League in recent years.
"We want to continue to build women's cricket as a mainstream sport as we look toward the World T20 in Australia in 2020, of which the final is just three years away," said Sutherland.