Australia v England, 3rd women's T20, Sydney February 2, 2014

Lanning questions women's Ashes points system

ESPNcricinfo staff

Meg Lanning, Australia's stand-in captain, has questioned the points format of the women's Ashes, suggesting that it was weighted too heavily towards the sole Test, which England won at the start of January to set up their 10-8 triumph.

Australia subsequently won both of the limited-overs series 2-1 but the six points England collected in Perth for their 61-run victory mitigated against subsequent defeats. Over the seven matches - one Test, three ODIs and three T20s - England only managed three wins but it was enough for them to retain the Ashes, which they won by a 12-4 margin during the English summer.

The limited-overs matches only offered two points to the winning team, however, Lanning suggested that be reviewed after Australia clinched the T20 series 2-1 in Sydney.

"You could fix that by giving more points to the ODIs," she said. "Perhaps two ODI victories is similar to a Test match win. I think for a Test match to be worth six points compared to the two is a lot, considering we don't play many Test matches at all.

"It's something to look into - I'm not sure what's going to happen but I'm sure other people will take care of that."

With the Ashes already secured, England lost their last two games on tour and their captain, Charlotte Edwards, admitted it was "disappointing to end the series the way we have". England also suffered from injuries, losing their two frontline quicks, Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole for the T20s, but it was the batting that let them down in Melbourne and Sydney, where they posted scores of 98 and 101.

Edwards gave her backing to the points system, having led England to only their third Ashes win in Australia. "Both teams knew what the format was and ultimately that Test win was the difference probably between the two teams," Edwards said. "I said from the word go it's going to be two evenly matched teams competing for it, and I think it showed.

"They've obviously ended the series well and I guess we won the key moments, which was the most important thing in this series."

England and Australia are the only women's teams that currently compete in Test matches and, earlier in the series, Australia batsman Sarah Elliott called for more the women's Ashes to include more Tests, "so the teams can really fight it out".

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 6, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (February 2, 2014, 19:56 GMT) Why is it a joke? Eng/Aus choose to play a test and other nations don't? Why shouldnt it be that if 2 nations want to play test cricket and the others dont they should be allowed to get on with it and other nations dont want to play test cricket they can play other formats. It's like the Ashes and IPL - Some folk say the Ashes is a waste of time while others say IPL is a joke. Let IPL fans enjoy their IPL and the Ashes fans enjoy their series. In the modern world with 100s of tv channels and websites no one should need to watch a game of cricket they find tedious or cant take seriously

  • John on February 4, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    I think Meg is kind of right but I wonder if she'd have noticed had the tight test match gone to Australia. Just a thought here. How about the same points structure but with the test match being played last so unless one side has trounced the other there should still be something riding on the test.

  • Dummy4 on February 3, 2014, 20:18 GMT

    I suspect there's a degree of common sense behind Meg Lamming's comments, but surely the more logical way would be to make ODI's worth three points and T20's remain at two points per win? I do think it's slightly illogical to treat both formats of limited overs cricket as equal, when they are of different length and require different skills.

  • Android on February 3, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Wasn't the Ashes points system introduced to prolong the interest in the contest. Which I think you'd agree happened. Otherwise, Eng won the test and 'the Ashes'. The contest was still alive until the third part of the series.

  • Will on February 3, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    The problem is the points system does not accurately reflect the state of the match. Take a leaf out of the Sheffield Shield and award 2 points for first-innings lead, and an additional 4 points to the overall winner. That would lead to the most appropriate result.

  • Peter on February 3, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    Well said Lanning. As usual, Australia is leading the way in cricket. Two innings per test match should be double the points for a one day game where there is one innings. Makes good sense.

  • Jay on February 2, 2014, 19:56 GMT

    It seems only England and Australia women play "test" cricket. What a joke ! This speaks volumes about the ICC's incapability to run the game properly. Either you get rid of test cricket completely which is a fine solution OR you get a lot more countries to play the format. In the case of the men's game, only 10 teams compete in test cricket which in itself is a joke. How about adding in a couple more nations to that list at least. In the women's game, the less said the better. Cricket is seriously a comedy piece. This can only happen in this sport. It doesn't happen in American sport or soccer, hockey or any other sports. Hello, we need a respectable, collective representation of nations across the board. In all honesty, test cricket has truly alienated the sport more than anything. It's keeping several countries from entering the fold however you look at it.

  • steve on February 2, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Also i think meg needs to check her maths, making the odis worth 3 points means england still would have won!

    Eng- 1 test (6), 1 odi(3), 1 t20 (2)= 11 Aus- 0 test (0), 2 odis (6), 2 t20s (4)= 10

  • Dummy4 on February 2, 2014, 18:02 GMT

    Pretty sure the girls want more tests anyway, so that's the way to go.

  • Dummy4 on February 2, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Sour grapes!! Test cricket is the premier form of the game. Or does Ms. Lanning disagree?

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