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Harmanpreet Kaur demands more tests for women

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Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of India, has urged for the return of long-duration domestic cricket in India as well as additional women’s Test matches. With only three Test matches to go along with 127 ODIs and 154 T20Is, Harmanpreet, 34, is about reflective of the top women’s cricket player of her era in terms of how many games she has played in each of the three formats.

In the 2022–25 women’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) cycle, India is only slated to compete in two Test matches, both of which will be played at home against England and Australia in 2023–24. India will play the fewest number of Test matches during this cycle, trailing only England (five), Australia (four), and South Africa (three).

On the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, Harmanpreet stated, “As a player, I definitely want more Tests because as a growing kid, we saw more Tests on TV than T20s.” “Today, T20 cricket is a lot of fun, but Test cricket is what every cricketer aspires to play.

The two Test matches we have this year, one against England and the other against Australia, could have a significant impact on women’s cricket. Hopefully, more Test matches will be scheduled in the future. Test matches in women’s cricket must be reinstated since they are crucial to the sport.

The BCCI held an inter-zonal three-day tournament and an inter-zonal Under-19 two-day tournament in 2017–18, which was the last time India had multi-day domestic women’s cricket. Harmanpreet believes that long-duration cricket will soon restart despite her satisfaction with how far domestic women’s cricket has evolved since her youth, notably with the launch of the Women’s Premier League (WPL).

“Believe me, domestic cricket has greatly improved,” she assured. “When I first started playing, we virtually ever had domestic matches, but over the past few years, the standard of domestic competition has significantly increased. More games are coming, and some domestic games are being shown live on television.

It is getting better every day, but back in my early years, we used to play two- and three-day games, which we truly miss. Hopefully, after these two Test matches, we’ll resume playing two-day matches. Women’s cricket will continue to advance as more matches are played.

“Undoubtedly, it’s getting better all the time, and [I] expect to see more talent on the Indian side. We had a terrific time, and as you indicated, the WPL was a turning point in our careers. Hopefully, next year, we’ll attract even more up-and-coming players who can further cricket.

The WPL began in 2023, with the Harmanpreet-led Mumbai Indians taking home the championship. Players had long expressed a desire for a women’s franchise T20 tournament similar to the IPL.

When questioned if it had taken too long for the WPL to get started, Harmanpreet responded, “Yes definitely it’s a little late, to be honest, but something is better than nothing.” At least it got going, and got going in a way that everyone liked. Perhaps we were a little afraid that people wouldn’t like it, but the answer we received for WPL showed that some viewers were more interested in women’s IPL than men’s since it was a novelty they really enjoyed. Hopefully, we’ll add more teams and players after a few years.

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