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ENGLAND captain Heather Knight has described ICC chair Greg Barclay’s comments questioning the future of women’s Test cricket as a “dangerous message.”
Barclay said in an interview earlier this month that he did not see women’s Test cricket “evolving at any particular speed” or consider it being “part of the landscape moving forward to any real extent at all.”
But Knight, speaking before Monday’s women’s Test against South Africa in Taunton, said: “Those comments made me sad. As a player I want to play Test cricket, it is seen by a lot of people as the pinnacle.
“It is marketed as the pinnacle and seen as the best and most challenging form of the game, which I definitely agree with.
“It’s probably not a great message from the ICC, or the comments from Greg, that suggested women shouldn’t be playing it.
“I think it’s quite a dangerous message to send that women shouldn’t be playing what is seen as the pinnacle of the game. I’m sure it wasn’t that well thought through.
“We shouldn’t limit what women’s cricket should be, and can do.
“With the right conditions and the right players, as you saw in Canberra [when England played Australia last winter], women’s Test match cricket can be really exciting and a great spectacle.”
England’s last Test, against Australia in January, ended in a thrilling draw that went down to the final ball of the match.
But only England, Australia and India have played women’s Tests in the past seven years, with South Africa’s previous match coming in 2014.
The solitary four-day Test is the start of a multiformat series, with three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches to follow.
Knight said: “I certainly think there’s scope for Test cricket.
“It’s worked really well as part of a multiformat series. It keeps women’s Test match cricket alive, and as players we get to learn our craft a little bit.
“We don’t play any multiformat cricket in domestic stuff. You’re kind of learning on the job, particularly the players coming in, as the skills need to be a bit different for white-ball cricket.
“T20 cricket in the women’s game has grown and developed commercially. But there’s room for white-ball cricket and the purest form of the game.”
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