With a multitude of sports recently vocalising their desire to narrow, and ultimately equal, the divide between the genders, it seems an overarching goal in the industry may be to advance the cause of equality. Cricket may presently be building upon these foundations, as whilst females seem to have played the sport for decades, their male counterparts seem to consistently attain increased support levels. With this, in turn, providing larger monetary incentives, it naturally therefore, consolidates their strong position. As such, the importance of the ongoing Women’s Ashes seems to have been elevated. With the event having recently commenced, it seems this period may signal a poignant period for cricket, as the two highest ranked nations in the world, who have united to contest for the trophy, may produce intriguing encounters, leading to an influx of support.
The Ashes seems to be amongst the most recognised events in the entirety of sport, with the men’s competition regularly broadcast on television, and this accessibility may be the prime contributor in the contest being amongst the top five most viewed cricketing events. As such, it may be a knowledgeable decision to utilise a similar competition for women in order to attain support, as it may already be a viable option for fans and players alike.
Yet, the maiden edition occurred in 1934, and whilst the men’s competition may attain the majority of the focus, the longevity showcased by the female equivalent may be integral in enhancing the credibility of the sport. With players often aiming to replicate the achievements of their predecessors, it seems the value of the occasion may be reemphasised.
Considering Australia attained victory in the opening fixture of the tournament, it seems they may presently be held in the best stead to conclude the contest the victors, ultimately contributing to their expansive trophy cabinets. With the nation the present reigning champions, alongside boasting the status of number one ranked team in the world, they seemed to be billed as pre-tournament favourites. Yet, this may have placed them in challenging circumstances, due to being both under pressure to perform and their opposition’s lofty ranking. Yet, in showcasing their proficiency, they may have proven the reasoning behind this accolade, and with captain Meg Lanning absent in this tie, and throughout the duration of the rest of the tournament, the win may be increasingly significant, showcasing the vast strength in-depth the nation possesses. This may provide further beneficial outcomes, ultimately enticing future generations to involve themselves in the capable side, as opportunities seem to be plentiful.
Whilst Australia may therefore naturally claim the plaudits, it seemed both sides played at their peak capabilities, and thus England may ultimately be superiorly impacted, as they seek to utilise the result to their advantage. They seemed to adapt their play style to suit their strengths, as in noting the opposition may have been superior at batting, they seemed to prioritise utilising their skills on the ball to narrow the divide, and this flexibility, whilst naturally ensuring England may continue to be provided with opportunities for victory, may prove the aptitude of the nation. With other English sporting teams perhaps performing superiorly in previous years, these achievements may increase morale for the nation.
With Australia and England’s high status, it seemed the influencers might have been aiming to showcase the accomplished nature of the sides in order to attain the support and with the tournament now underway, it seems this goal may have been achieved. This event may, therefore, act as the catalyst in revolutionising cricket, as whilst the results may claim the majority of the focus, as it might be important in the aftermath of the World Cup, it may more relevantly increase the reach of the sport. With previous victories smattered between the nations, cricket may have already shown why it may warrant the support. Yet, by simultaneously showcasing its desire to advance the women’s game, it may become increasingly accessible for all, and lead the way for other sports to follow suit.
How may this competition advance the cause of the women’s game across the entirety of the sporting world?