The head coach of the India Women’s cricket team, WV Raman speaks on the one-off Test match between India and England scheduled later this year. Earlier in the month, Jay Shah, BCCI Secretary, announced that the Indian women’s team will return to playing the longest format after 7 years, against England.
WV Raman opines that the players will find it extremely challenging to adapt to the longest format considering they play only white-ball cricket – India women have played only 2 Tests since 2007, both in 2014; Mithali Raj’s side won both the games.
WV Raman, who played 11 Tests and 27 ODI, reckons this one-off Test match will help Indian women cricket lance into the Test arena as England and Australia are the only other two teams who play regular Test matches.
“It could cut both ways. One is that this could be the start of Test matches played on a regular basis. The other side to it is whether all the full members will be available to play women’s Test cricket.
“This question needs to be answered. It’s not going to be easy in the sense that because the girls are used to playing the shorter formats and so adapting to Test cricket will be a challenge in every respect,” WV Raman told Cricketnext.
“But all the same, it would be a worthwhile experiment to try and see if the girls can be slowly eased into Test cricket. I think that’s what is happening in a way, although it may not be expressly stated. We saw England play Australia in a Test match last year. It’s too early to say anything about the future of women’s Test cricket,” he added.
It’s not going to be easy to make women’s Test cricket commercially viable: WV Raman
The 55-year-old asserts that gaining viewership, sponsor deals and television rights for women’s Test cricket would be a challenging task for the board – it is one of the major factors halting the progress of the longest format in women’s cricket.
“It’s not going to be easy to make women’s Test cricket commercially viable. If you have to have the three formats for women on a tour, a lot of things come into force. A lot of things will be assessed even before it can be said with conviction that women’s Test cricket has come to stay.
“Perhaps they feel that it’s one way of trying to provide the girls a feel of Test cricket, duration cricket. Personally, I feel it’s a kind of a two-way prong here. One is the experimentation to see what the girls do in a duration game, and the second is to see if it can be a viable proposition. Maybe it can be restricted between a few countries,” the former WV Raman further added.