Bath has thrown up some surprises in its time. In 863AD, its founder, King Bladud, discovered its hot springs could cure him, and his pigs, of leprosy.

England women's back-to-back Twenty20s against New Zealand this week weren't quite of such miraculous stature, but the high standard at Bath CC was enough to surprise bypassers when they peered over the fence. Some even decided to come in.

Once inside they found what many of us have known for a while. Women's cricket, Tests aside, provides one of the best opportunities for family entertainment.

The PA announced some of the trickier rules as we went along, to help new fans, while there was no worry of the violence that has affected the men's, or that the games were just an excuse for a social occasion. Everyone here had come for the cricket.

And for autographs. And photos with the ever-obliging players. And for nets close to the boundary, or a seat right on it - the crowd huddling right round the boards. It was cold and gloomy in weather only; there was a pleasingly intimate atmosphere.

"Intimate" was indeed the message pushed in the build-up. And intimate is how it should be. Last year the women played in an echoey Rose Bowl, but the ECB have learned from that and - judging by the packed-out crowds - it's paying dividends.

This year's entire schedule is based at friendly grounds who are keen to host them. The local media got behind the Bath matches - with radio, TV and press all in attendance - and things bode well for Taunton, Stratford, Derby, Blackpool and Shenley.

Surprisingly enough, the women's game lends itself to Twenty20. While Tests can be painfully slow - witness Netherlands and South Africa's recent stultification - and women's cricket has been criticised in the past for being slow-going, they have adapted well, and instantly, to this form. Twenty20 is high octane and high scoring.

The women may not have the power, but they have the prowess, including superb ground fielding, while Sarah Taylor and her exquisite timing continue to look a class above at times. She alone is box office - even if the office was only demanding a fiver, while under-16s were free.

Either way, the more Twenty20s they can play, the better. Sensibly, New Zealand have done away with Tests, allowing for six one-dayers and three Twenty20s this series. It's what the fans want, too.

More Twenty20s would also lead the way for matches to be played as a curtain-raiser for men's; for all that the women play this game well, the message still needs to be spread.