"I think once every so often is pretty difficult as a player" - Meg Lanning calls for better scheduling of women's Tests

Australia v England Women
Meg Lanning played six Tests in her international career

Former Australia women's team skipper Meg Lanning recently spoke about the difficulties of preparing for a Test match and how the lack of it in the current women's international calendar is causing serious harm.

There is no structure behind women's Tests at the moment, unlike men's cricket, where there is the World Test Championship (WTC). Some red-ball matches in women's cricket carry points as part of an all-format tour, as recently seen in the Ashes series.

However, there is no overall points structure or a separate competition. The Tests are largely played out as one-off contests and as pre-cursors to the white-ball legs of tours. The last women's Test series with at least three matches was held more than two decades ago, in 1998.

Given the current state of affairs, Meg Lanning has suggested that the organizers should either look to incorporate more red-ball fixtures into the international calendar or scrap the concept altogether to focus on the modern-day short formats.

"It's really difficult to prepare for a Test match," Lanning said. "In my career, we were playing once every two years. It takes us two days to work out how to play it again, and then the Test is over."
"If you really want the games to be a good contest and more nations to play and players to understand the game a little bit more, I think we probably need to play more. Or you go the other way and you don't play any at all and you focus on the short-format stuff," she added.

Women's cricket recently witnessed some red-ball activity when India hosted Australia and England. They played a one-off Test against both the sides to kick-start their respective all-format rubbers.

"That's great if that means there can be more Tests in the calendar, I think that'll happen over time," Lanning said. "But that's where I sit on it. It's either more or you sort of don't go there at all because I think once every so often is pretty difficult as a player."

Australia are now set to host South Africa for a one-off Test in Perth after their white-ball affairs come to a close.

"Until I stop completely, it probably won't sink in" - Meg Lanning on her retirement

The former Australian skipper's retirement from international cricket at the age of 31 came as a huge shock to the cricketing fraternity. However, Lanning still actively features in the sport. She recently played the 2023-24 Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) and is now involved in the Women's National League, representing Victoria.

"Until I probably stop completely, it probably won't sink in," she said. "It's obviously been a different last couple of months, a little bit more time and little bit more quiet to spend with friends and family and sort of take stock a little bit. I've enjoyed that," Lanning said.

She will next be seen leading the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the second edition of the Women's Premier League (WPL), which will begin on February 23.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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