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Women's Ashes to get standalone season in new FTP

Australia will also host a Test against South Africa in 2023-24 and play one away against India

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
16-Aug-2022
Australia celebrate their Ashes win, Australia vs England, 3rd women's ODI, Melbourne, February 8, 2022

Australia celebrate their Ashes win early this year  •  Getty Images

The women's Ashes has a separate season to the men's in the first edition of the women's Future Tours Programme with the new schedule to begin when England visit Australia in 2024-25.
Elsewhere in the inaugural version of the women's FTP Australia will play their first Test against South Africa and their first in India since 1984, both in 2023-24. They will also face Bangladesh for the first time in a bilateral series when they tour there in early 2024.
The men's and women's Ashes series have been played in the same season since 2009 with the most recent being in 2021-22 when both England teams toured Australia. The women's Ashes became a multi-format series in 2013 with Australia holding them since 2015.
It means that England's women, who will host Australia in 2023 alongside the men's Ashes, will tour down under twice in three years, but after that the series will revert to its traditional spacing.
"The multi-format Ashes has grown in stature we believe in our country every time it gets played," Peter Roach, CA's head of scheduling told ESPNcricinfo. "Whichever way we looked at it we thought that it must have an impact on the focus of it, and not just the women but the men as well.
"Two Ashes series, crossing over each other, we thought they were such significant events in their own right to separate them. Across the four years of the FTP we've got two Ashes series which is a terrific result for us. So we thought it was the right time and the ECB have been really supportive of it."
The South Africa and India Tests come during a seven-month period which will see Australia play three matches in the format with an Ashes clash set for June or July 2023.
South Africa played their first Test since 2014 when they faced England earlier this year, while India returned to the format after a gap of seven years in 2021.
This season Australia do not host a Test with Pakistan the only visitors - having played India and England in 2021-22 - but there is one home Test in each of the next three seasons that are confirmed on the schedule released today. CA remains hopeful that another nation may have taken up the Test game in time to slot in for the yet-to-be-confirmed 2026-27 season.
"We are supportive of the multi-format series," Roach said. "There's a question mark on 2026-27 [about] what's going to be there. We really hope that the women's programmes in other parts of the world, and we're pretty confident they will, continue to grow very strongly. And come that time there'll be other countries that are at a stage where they think they are ready and willing to engage in a multi-format series.
"The women's game is evolving so quickly…but sitting here today we'd love to think that a January-February window is a terrific opportunity for us to showcase the multi-format series. Who are the other opponents going to be? Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and West Indies, all of those making some great strides with their women's programmes."
Roach added the women's FTP, which is built around ICC events and the ODI Championship, had been a chance to formulate a far more ideal structure for the global game than is possible with the men. As previously reported by ESPNcricinfo, there have been windows left, which are unofficial from CA's point of view, for the Hundred (August), WBBL (October/November) and a WIPL (likely March) which is expected to start next year, although the Commonwealth Games in March 2026 - hosted in Victoria - shapes as a potential clash for the latter.
"There's a really good feeling amongst the countries that freeing these windows up, to play in the Hundred and the WBBL and the potential woman's IPL, makes perfect sense because they are really attractive propositions for our female athletes," Roach said. "People are understanding that we should have the ability to be flexible to support this rapid growth of the women's game and that flexibility is presently available to us, which in the men's game is a little bit more complicated."

Australia Women's FTP

2022-23
Jul: Ireland vs Australia/Pakistan (4 T20Is)
Jul/Aug: Commonwealth Games - Birmingham
Dec: India vs Australia (5 T20Is)
Jan: Australia vs Pakistan (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Feb: T20 World Cup - South Africa
2023-24
Jun/Jul: England vs Australia (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Jul: Ireland vs Australia (3 ODIs)
Sep/Oct: Australia vs West Indies (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Dec/Jan: India vs Australia (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Jan/Feb: Australia vs South Africa (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Mar/Apr: Bangladesh vs Australia (3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
2024-25
Sep/Oct: T20 World Cup - Host TBC
Dec: Australia vs India (3 ODIs)
Dec: New Zealand v Australia (3 ODIs)
New FTP cycle - further matches to be added
Jan/Feb: Australia v England (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Mar: New Zealand vs Australia (3 T20Is)
2025-26
Sep/Oct: ODI World Cup - India
Jan/Feb: Australia vs India (1 Test, 3 ODIs, 3 T20Is)
Mar: Commonwealth Games - Victoria

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo