Belinda Clark – Focus for women’s cricket ‘needs to continue on the shorter formats’

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Says she wouldn’t change anything until 10-15 nations are playing top-class white-ball cricket

Belinda Clark believes that the limited-overs formats should remain the primary vehicle for the expansion of women’s cricket, and switching the focus to Tests may not reap the desired results “until such time as we’ve got 10-15 nations that are playing high-quality T20 and then 50-over cricket”.

“I think the focus for the women’s game needs to continue on the shorter formats: T20 and 50-over [cricket],” Clark, the former Australia captain and till recently head of Cricket Australia’s community cricket department, said at Monday’s launch of ICC’s 100% Cricket – Future Leaders Programme. “And I say that because if our objective is to spread the game globally and grow depth in the teams that are competing internationally, you do need a focus and that focus needs to be directed at certain formats.

“Otherwise what will happen is everyone will spend a little bit of money on everything and nothing actually will change.”

At its recent cricket committee meeting, the ICC board decided that Test and ODI status would be given to women’s teams of all Full Member countries. In principle, the move increased the number of women’s ODI and Test teams from ten to 12. Thus, Ireland – who already had T20I and ODI status – and Afghanistan – who are yet to enter a women’s team in any major event – joined their men’s counterparts in acquiring Test status.