England Women will play a five-day Test match against Australia as part of an Ashes campaign in 2023, which will see them return to the country’s major venues. It will be only the second scheduled women’s Test of that length since Australia hosted England at North Sydney Oval in 1992.
The Test will take place at Trent Bridge starting on June 22 and will be the first match in a multi-format points-based series spread across a number of major venues. Three T20Is at Edgbaston, Kia Oval and Lord’s follow, before three ODIs at Bristol, Ageas Bowl and Taunton. As has been the case for several campaigns now, the white-ball matches will be worth two points each, with four on offer for the winners of the Test.
It is a seminal moment in English women’s cricket, coming on the back of the success of the Women’s Hundred and Commonwealth Games this summer, both of which have shown that audiences and appetite for the game in this country can only go one way.
Later this week, England play their first bilateral ODI at Lord’s since 2014, against India on Saturday, and that theme will continue in 2023, with Trent Bridge hosting their first women’s international since 2000.
Meanwhile, Edgbaston, Lord’s and Kia Oval will all host their first Women’s Ashes T20I. The England and Wales Cricket Board has taken a page out of the Hundred’s book by allowing both the men’s and women’s Ashes to run side-by-side next summer.
Heather Knight, the England captain who scored a century in the drawn Ashes Test in Canberra in January and whose team ran out of time to force victory over South Africa in a rain-affected four-day match this summer, told the PA news agency that this moment had been a long time coming.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been banging the drum for five days for a long time, so it’s a special moment. It feels like the right time, for five days, for bigger reasons, and it feels like it’s been a long time coming . Last year’s South Africa Test was set up nicely but withered away due to rain and didn’t get the chance to finish, so this is a really good move by the boards.”
The women’s streak begins a week after the men face Australia in the first of five matches at Edgbaston starting on June 16, before games at Lord’s, Headingley, Emirates Old Trafford and Kia Oval.
Ben Stokes’ side will begin their red ball summer against Ireland at Lord’s in a four-day match starting on June 16. The World Test Championship final is scheduled between these matches and will be held at the Kia Oval in June. It was also confirmed that Lord’s, which had originally expected to host the showpiece event, will do so in 2025.
As expected, the month of August has largely been saved for the hundreds, with the only international coming on August 30, when England’s men begin an exclusively white-ball diet of four T20s and four ODIs against New Zealand. Ireland will then return for three ODIs in September as Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott look to fine-tune their plans ahead of the 50-over World Cup in India in the winter of 2023. Meanwhile, Heather Knight’s side will play three T20s and three ODIs against Sri Lanka.
Clare Connor, ECB Interim Chief Executive, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting two Ashes series in 2023, as well as hosting Ireland Men, New Zealand Men and Sri Lanka Women.
“Next summer will be huge for England Women and England Men. There are few events more special in English sport than a home Ashes series and I know Heather, Ben and their team will be excited and driven by the challenge with reclaiming Ashes.
“I’m particularly pleased that we’ve announced our England Men’s and England Women’s matches side by side for the first time, meaning supporters can enter the ballot or register an interest for any match on the same day. June and July will be very special months for cricket in this country with the buzz of two Ashes series taking place simultaneously.
“The women’s game continues to grow and we’ve clearly entered another phase in terms of demand for elite women’s sport. We’ve seen record stadium crowds for the second season of the Hundred. Now we want to give more fans the chance to see England Women in person next summer as they compete for the Ashes at home.”
Vithushan Ehantharajah is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo