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Women's highlights to be broadcast on Channel 5

England women's cricket will be shown on UK terrestrial television for the first time after the ECB agreed a broadcast deal with Channel 5

Alan Gardner
Alan Gardner
It is only a few weeks since Heather Knight lifted the Women's World Cup at Lord's but the positive effects have already begun to kick in with the announcement that England women's cricket will be shown on UK terrestrial television for the first time.
The ECB has agreed a deal with Channel 5 to broadcast highlights from England's home internationals - Tests, ODIs and T20Is - from next summer until 2019, which will encompass the Ashes. Channel 5 is the current home of England men's highlights, although they are set to return to the BBC from 2020.
Last month's Women's World Cup final, in which England beat India by nine runs in a thrilling encounter at a sold-out Lord's, was reportedly watched by 1.1m people on Sky in the UK - viewing figures that were higher than the average Premier League football match, according to the Times.
"The move to show England women's cricket highlights on terrestrial TV is another huge step forward for international women's cricket," the ECB's director of England women's cricket, Clare Connor, said.
"The ticket sales and viewing figures from the ICC Women's World Cup showed there is a growing audience for our game and this platform will give us the chance to further capitalise on that. We are overwhelmingly proud of our World Cup winners and it will be wonderful for even more fans to be able to watch them in action from next year."
The 2017 Women's World Cup received more media attention than any that had gone before and was described as a "landmark moment" for the game. Women's cricket has been on a swift rise around the world, with the success of the Women's Big Bash League in Australia and the Kia Super League in England, which will begin its second season this week.
Last year, the KSL was not broadcast on television - coverage was provided by BBC radio - but this time around Sky will show eight matches, including the final at Hove on September 2.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo at the launch of the KSL, England captain Knight said: "It shows there's an audience for women's cricket. A lot of people have said we shouldn't broadcast it because people aren't interested in it, but I think this World Cup and the final have showed that that's not the case, there is a thirst for it. It's a great time to be involved in women's cricket."
England women will next be in action during the Ashes in Australia and the coach, Mark Robinson, has spoken about the need to create a more structured international programme. England's only competitive matches in the build-up to the World Cup were against Ireland, as they struggled to arrange fixtures after trips to the Caribbean and Sri Lanka in late 2016.
The schedule for the 2018 summer has yet to be finalised but England's opponents are expected to be New Zealand and South Africa, with the ECB in the process of confirming the tours.

Alan Gardner is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick