Australia will aim to extend its stranglehold on the Women’s Ashes when it faces England in the 2023 series, starting in Nottingham on Thursday.
We look at the showdown between the old rivals, which is played over three formats.
Unlike the men’s Ashes, which started last week and features five Test matches, the women’s version is a multi-format, points-based encounter.
Running from June 22 to July 18, the women’s Ashes includes one Test, three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day (50-over) internationals.
An ODI or T20I victory earns two points and a tie means one point for each team, while there are four points awarded to the winners of the Test, with each side awarded two points for a draw.
This year’s Test will last five days rather than four, which has been the traditional length in the women’s game.
Australia’s women are the Ashes holders after a sustained period of success in the competition.
It is 10 years since the introduction of the multi-format system and the structure of the competition appears to suit Australia, who are also world champions in the ODI and T20 formats.
They crushed England 12-4 in 2019 and 2022, having previously drawn in 2017 and won in 2015.
England failed to win a single game in last year’s Ashes and have not been triumphant since 2014, though they did win the first two series decided by the points system.
Thrills and spills
England and Australia, who first played a series in 1934/35, have produced dramatic moments to rival their male counterparts over the decades.
Few finishes have been more tense than the drawn 2022 Test, when England’s women, chasing 257 on the final day, collapsed with victory in sight before number 11 Kate Cross survived the final over.
“We were in such a great position. The way we went for the game made me really proud, but I am just frustrated,” said England captain Heather Knight.
In the 2014 Ashes, England won the Test by 61 runs as wicket-taking spells by Cross and Anya Shrubsole prevented Australia reaching their target of 185.
Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry provided another defining moment of the rivalry with a brilliant innings of 213 on a flat pitch in the drawn Test in 2017.
“We came up against someone who played a sublime innings. I don’t remember her giving a chance,” Shrubsole said.
Australia captain Meg Lanning will miss this year’s series after being ruled out on medical advice due to an issue that requires management from home.
Alyssa Healy takes over as captain of a team looking for emerging talent Phoebe Litchfield to star on her first Ashes tour.
Litchfield, 20, smashed half-centuries in her first two ODIs against Pakistan in January and is the only new face in the Australia squad after they won a third consecutive T20 World Cup in February.
Neither side has played a full international match since that competition in South Africa, with England eliminated in the semi-finals by the hosts.
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