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Getting to the nub of it

We love a good debate or discussion here at the Rust and therefore I make no apology for returning to the subject of women and sport, as most recently observed in cricket. Last week I blogged about the solitary Test match which, together with a mix of One Day Internationals and T20 games, comprise the elements of the ongoing women’s Ashes series. The ‘points’ scored (which vary between the different forms of the game but are weighed heavily towards the Test match) are added together to compute the series outcome.

The issues covered have included the quality and technical standards of women’s sport (as compared to men’s), the amount of television, radio and newspaper coverage – some might argue too little, some too much when considered from the actual amount of interest in women’s sport – and latterly we have even touched upon whether (1) true equality would only be achieved when, as in equestrianism – provided the female competitors are ‘good enough’, of course – there need be no such thing as ‘gender specific/exclusive’ contests at all because men and women would simply compete side by side; or (2) there exist sports which naturally lend themselves best to either male or female participants, e.g. (in the case of women), synchronised swimming, the gym equipment and disciplines that women traditionally employ in gymnastics, netball and – in the United States – cheerleading.

Once again, it seems that the world follows where the Rust leads.

In which context I commend to you an article by Mike Selvey that appears today upon the website of The Guardian newspaper. He argues both that women are inherently unsuited to playing Test cricket (i.e. two-innings matches played over four days) and that in any event it is arguable that Test cricket, even in the men’s game, is something of an anachronism in the 21st Century anyway. He seems to refrain from taking the later argument too far – the fact is that men’s Test cricket will always be popular with traditionalists, as the Ashes Series seems in the habit of proving …



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About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts